Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari canceled Monday's "Coffee with Cal" show, which has streamed live on Facebook to raise funds for coronavirus relief for the past three months, and instead asked supporters to have "a moment of silence" a week after George Floyd died in Minneapolis in police custody.
In a video Calipari released Sunday night on Twitter, he said he hopes to bring "leaders" together to address the issues surrounding the death of Floyd and others who've died after encounters with police officers.
"What happened earlier this week in Minnesota and what's happened too often in our country has made me sick, and it's made a lot of Americans sick," he said in the video. "It's wrong. It's unacceptable, and we have to do better. We have to demand better. What I will say is this: I want to be a part of the answer in any way I can. It may be a small part, but I can't stand on the sidelines while my players, my staff, their sons and daughters, our fans and so many others live with fear and injustices."
Mike Tomlin, Mark Cuban, Bill Clinton and Charles Barkley have all appeared on "Coffee with Cal," which the coach started after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the cancellation of the NCAA tournament.
Calipari said he understands people want more than dialogue, but he said he soon hopes to assemble a group of influential people who can come up with "answers" days after the latest deadly encounter between police and an unarmed African American.
Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, per the viral video of the incident on Memorial Day, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday. He and three other officers, two of whom helped hold Floyd down as the 46-year-old pleaded for his life, were fired last week.
In a nationally televised interview on Sunday night, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the four officers were "complicit" in Floyd's death.
"Mr. Floyd died in our hands and so I see that as being complicit," Arradondo told CNN. "Silence and inaction, you're complicit. If there was one solitary voice that would have intervened ... that's what I would have hoped for."
Calipari also mentioned the deaths of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in her Louisville home in March, and Ahmaud Arbery, who was gunned down by two white men as a third filmed the incident -- all three have been charged with murder -- in Georgia while jogging in February.
"This has been a tough week for all of us, but I can't pretend to know some of the real pain others have been feeling right now," he said. "For those reasons, I'm going to put a temporary hold on our 'Coffee with Cal' episode [Monday] and take a moment of silence, we all should, in remembrance of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who have died without reason. The intention of 'Coffee with Cal' was to bring relief for COVID-19, and we will continue to do so in future episodes, but for now I want us to shift to some other issues and plan to address them in the coming weeks."