Utah coach Quin Snyder had nothing but praise for Jazz star Donovan Mitchell after his recent string of activism on social media.
One post in particular, Snyder said, caught his eye.
Mitchell posted a photo to commemorate Juneteenth, the day that the last enslaved Black Americans found out that they were free. While there were positive comments under his Instagram post, Snyder noticed some “abominable” ones — which he said only proves there’s more work needed.
“I’m extremely proud of Donovan, that he’s articulating, even in the form of the post,” Snyder said, via the Associated Press. “Obviously, that’s a form of expression, something that he feels is important personally and important to our society, and generally speaking at large. There were a lot of positive comments surrounding Donovan’s post.
“That said, there were also some comments that were abominable, and things that we all should never tolerate. So, to the extent you can rationalize some of those negative comments by saying there were positive comments, I think that’s a mistake that we all have to be that diligent. Because as long as those comments are there, there’s work to be done.”
Mitchell has been extremely active on social media since then, too, and posted a video this week where he was talking about George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor’s death in Louisville — both of which sparked massive rallies and a renewed Black Lives Matter movement, of which he and countless other athletes have been a part of.
Mitchell was averaging a career-high 24.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game when the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 23-year-old and the Jazz will enter play in Orlando — where the NBA is planning to resume the season next month — with a 41-23 record, good for the fourth spot in the Western Conference.
Snyder also pushed for people to educate themselves on social and racial issues throughout the country — something he said he’s been trying to do in recent weeks.
However, those conversations, the 53-year-old coach noted, aren’t always easy.
“One of the things that’s been talked about a lot is that it’s OK to be uncomfortable,” Snyder said, via ESPN. “Donovan was certainly uncomfortable on some level. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in, and to the extent that he made some other people and some of us uncomfortable, I think that’s a good thing.
“Part of, I think, the challenge with this is for us not to be defensive. Things that are said, it’s not always an accusatory statement. We don’t need to be defensive about what we hear. We need to process it, try to understand, because at that point, when we have a greater understanding we can have that dialogue and begin to find those ways that we can to unite.”
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