The NBA world reacted Friday to the release of videos showing the preceding traffic delay on January 7th Death of Tire Nicholswho spent three days in the hospital before succumbing to his injuries.
In the videos, police allegedly used pepper spray on Nichols while punching and kicking the 29-year-old, leaving him bloodied and dazed.
The brutal encounter led to the dismissal of five cops from Memphis who are now charged, including second-degree murder.
LEBRON JAMES, NBA WORLD REACT TO VIDEO OF POLICE BEATING TIRE NICHOLS: ‘WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY’
For the Memphis Grizzlies, Nichols’ death came near home as the team prepared to take it with him Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night in Minneapolis.
Before the game and before the release of the video, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins provided his thoughts as his team prepared for the game.
“The senseless loss of life for Tire Nichols has hit us really hard,” Jenkins said. “And it was tough being out and not being home. And I wish I could reach out to family through this camera right now. You go through a lot.”
TENNESSEE SHERIFF OPENS NEW INVESTIGATIONS AGAINST TWO DEPUTS AFTER RELEASING BODYCAM VIDEO OF TIRE NICHOLS
Jenkins said he saw a television interview by Nichols’ mother earlier in the day discussing her son’s death and said it made him cry.
“Unfortunately we are here again. The loss of life to police brutality is something that cannot be imagined,” Jenkins continued. “As the head coach of this team, we’re trying to get everyone to understand the responsibility we have in going beyond basketball. This is a stark reminder of where we stand in uniting our city. Our city has a great soul. Our town has great love for each other.”
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“This is obviously a difficult moment for our city to deal with, deal with, deal with and recover. But we’ll get through it. I know the family watching this interview today will get through it. But we’re going to do this with a heavy heart, but also remembering a beautiful life that has been lost. And hopefully we can celebrate that life and proudly remember the life of Tire Nichols. Proudly represent our city.”
A minute’s silence was observed before the game began The NBA released a statement.
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“The images of Tire Nichols’ life, unnecessarily curtailed, are chilling. While there have been steps toward accountability in this case, the NBA family remains committed to working with attorneys, policymakers and law enforcement to work on solutions to the issues we are facing,” the NBA said. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr. Nichols, the entire Memphis community and those affected by these tragic images and loss.