Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder praises Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell for his work on social media in pushing for social justice, and points to the negative feedback as further evidence that more work is needed.
Mitchell posted on his Instagram account to honor Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States, and a number of comments to his posted that read “free-ish SINCE 1865” were racist.
“There were a lot of positive comments surrounding Donovan’s post,” Snyder said during a video conference call with the media, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
“That said, there were also some comments that were abominable and things that we all should never tolerate.
“To the extent you can rationalize some of those negative comments by saying there were positive comments, I think that’s a mistake. We all have to be that diligent, because as long as those comments are there, there’s work to be done.”
While stressing the point that people need to educate themselves on social justice issues, Snyder pointed to marching along with his wife and four young children and listening to speeches while participating in Salt Lake City’s (Utah) Juneteenth event.
“The road from complacency to complicity is a slippery slope,” Snyder said. “I think as we educate ourselves more and more, that complacency falls off and then it’s an opportunity to act.”
“One of the things that’s been talked about a lot is that it’s OK to be uncomfortable,” Snyder said. “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.”