PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - "I'm tired of seeing that," says Suns head coach Monty Williams, talking about the death of George Floyd. "I'm tired of watching somebody else lose a loved one. And I know what it's like to get that phone call. Like I just, I'm tired of it. And I don't have a problem saying that forcefully."
Williams wrote an emotional "open letter" over the weekend, about being the change in America. Tuesday, he explained that idea began to form as he watched television coverage of Floyd's death, and protests around the country, with his kids.
"I don't have an answer for why a man like George Floyd had to die like that," says Williams. "My kids are sitting there watching, and to see their faces - to be straight, I felt a bit helpless. But I also felt like I was a bit privileged. You know, because I'm the coach and because I make the amount of money that I make, and I can go back to my house in this gated community, I felt a bit incubated and isolated. It almost felt like I was hiding, a bit, by being quiet."
In coordination with the Suns, Williams decided he needed to step outside his comfort zone to put his thoughts on paper, and effect change.
"The Bible says, 'To whom much is given, much is expected,'" says Williams. "I don't want to get 20 or 30 years from now and look my kids in the eyes and say all I did was play and coach, you know what I'm saying? Like, I don't want to do that. If I could affect one family, one person, to go into the future and be better as it relates to race relations and where we are in our country, it was worth it."
Williams says he also leaned on his pastor in New Orleans, and prayed on the decision, after feeling unsure about his platform.
"I think you have to do the best you can with what you have, and not worry about the size or the scope of who you're going to reach," he explained. "You just do it and you just pray to God that it can bring healing and encouragement to people."
Williams says he doesn't have a solution that's going to solve of society's problems, but he does have some starting ideas for the Suns organization.
"We're going to have to take time to meet with our police departments and chiefs. We're going to have to, if we can, spend time with our city and state officials. Whether it's town hall meetings or coming to our practice site or us taking time out of our schedules to go meet with them and talk about the issues that have affected us, the things that we see."
Williams says he hopes that would at least get more people talking, if they can see what the black community sees.
"You can't fix the problem if you don't understand what's going on. And I think that's what many blacks are in an uproar about right now. Because they feel like nobody understands what's going on. They don't understand the inequality in the health care system, school systems, just general living in a neighborhood. It is generally hard for black people and it has been. When you feel like it's systematic, that's a lonely, helpless place. And when you feel like nobody understands that, that's even lonelier."
Williams says he, along with Suns general manager James Jones and Suns owner Robert Sarver, had a virtual meeting with Suns players earlier this week.
"Basically wanting them to know that we validate, support, and are here for them. But especially their feelings. Like, don't feel like you haven't done anything. Like, what we do in the community, it does stuff. What we do in sports, it does stuff to bring people together. Like, we gotta continue that," Williams said.