Suns’ Earl Watson disappointed in ‘social divide’ after Kansas City shooting

Jul 19, 2016, 5:37 PM | Updated: Jul 20, 2016, 12:28 am
Newly appointed Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson speaks after being promoted from interim head c...

Newly appointed Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson speaks after being promoted from interim head coach, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Those in the sports profession have been more willing to speak out about the social climate of the United States these days. In fact, they’ve been asked to do so by fellow sports figures like LeBron James.

On that note, Suns coach Earl Watson isn’t one to hold his tongue.

Following a shooting of police officer Capt. Robert Melton in the coach’s home town, Kansas City, on Tuesday, Watson posted a strong message on his Facebook page asking citizens to end violence and find peace.

“Saddened today to read about my city of KCK,” Watson wrote. “Saddened that I constantly read about the gun violence in KCK. Disappointed that people actually believe retaliation is ‘cool’ or justified. Disappointed that my friend’s (sic) & family who are police officer are no looked upon as ‘them.’ Disappointed that it’s a social divide.”

Watson knows the violence in Kansas City well. He also lost an older brother, a former officer, in a shooting in 2014.

Former UCLA coach Steve Lavin told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in June that he spent one recruiting visit to Watson’s home listening as gunshots rang out.

“It was a really tough neighborhood. It’s the only visit I could remember where there were gunshots going off throughout the visit,” Lavin told Doug and Wolf. “It was just another day at the office for Earl and his family. We’d been South Side of Chicago, Harlem, Bronx … I’d say Earl’s was one of the toughest (neighborhoods) I’ve been to.”

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