Joe Mazzulla offers prayer for family of Tyre Nichols, city of Memphis

Joe Mazzulla offers prayer for family of Tyre Nichols, city of Memphis

Every Boston Celtics home game head coach Joe Mazzulla addresses the media 100 minutes before tip-off. On Saturday night ahead of a tilt against the team’s biggest rival the Los Angeles Lakers, Mazzulla’s thoughts were far from basketball.

“On behalf of the Celtics organization, and my family in particular, I want to pray for Tyre Nichols,” Mazzulla said to begin his press conference, unprovoked. The killing of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old from Memphis, Tennessee, has sent shockwaves around the country in recent weeks. Nichols was brutally beaten by five police officers according to recently released police video. Nichols died three days later.

Mazzulla offered condolences and prayers for the city of Memphis and Nichols’ mother Rowvaughn Wells and offered perspective on the entire affair.

“I’m praying for his soul. I pray for Ms. Wells, her heart, her soul. I pray for their family — and real prayer, just praying for their grief, and for their understanding of the situation. And to open up my heart.”

Mazzulla spoke about the broader context of Nichols’ death. Following the initial incident in early January of this year, old wounds and conversations about race, policing, and accountability have resurfaced in Memphis and beyond.

“I do think there are multiple things here,” Mazzulla said. “There’s a systemic issue, there’s a cultural issue, there’s a leadership issue. Bigger than that there is an issue of the broken world, we live in a broken world.

“We don’t hold each other accountable enough to the simple things in life, of love and respect, of treating your neighbor in the right way and loving your neighbor. And instead, we praise, pride and praise, arrogance and praise entitlement. We all feel like we can do whatever we want at times. And that’s not how this world works.”

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also offered his sympathy and anger for the situation. The NBA, the NBA Players Association, and many organizations have also spoken out in support of the Nichols family and the city of Memphis.

“Our Celtics organization grieves for that,” Mazzulla said to close his opening pregame remarks. “We pray for that. I just wanted to share that.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

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