Lloyd Pierce hasn't coached a basketball game in nearly two months, but the Hawks' head coach has still kept himself busy since the NBA suspended its season on March 11. Pierce holds weekly team meetings, leads coaching clinics, devours audiobooks and TV series, and spends time looking after his daughter, Maya Joy. He has vocally supported the Atlanta Pledge, a nonprofit organization that helps battle COVID-19.
On Tuesday, he'll also help lead a discussion as part of the NBA's Virtual Roundtable series on Twitter at 7 p.m. Along with former NBA player Caron Butler, WNBA forward DeWanna Bonner, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson, Pierce will speak about the urgent threat of COVID-19 to incarcerated communities and the pre-existing inequities surrounding criminal justice in America. The conversation will cover topics like the rapid spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities, the root causes of the United States' system of mass incarceration, its disproportionate impact on people of color, and more.
Pierce, who has been one of the NBA's most thoughtful and eloquent head coaches in his two years in Atlanta, is a partner with the Georgia Innocence Project, which works to prevent and undo wrongful convictions in the state of Georgia.
Butler, who was incarcerated at 16 years old, serves on the board for the Vera Institute of Justice. Bonner has worked with incarcerated women in Phoenix while Stevenson has spend over three decades as a lawyer fighting iniquities in the U.S. criminal justice system and founded the Equal Justice Initiative in in 1989. In 2015, Stevenson penned the book Just Mercy, which was adapted into a film in 2019.
The Virtual Roundtable series started last Tuesday with a discussion on how the coronavirus disproportionately affected people of color, and will continue every Tuesday at 7 on the NBA's Twitter page.