DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 26: Head coach David Fizdale of the Memphis Grizzlies encourages his team on the sidelines against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on February 26, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

David Fizdale is entering his second season as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, but that’s not why he’s in the news at the moment.

Fizdale gave a lengthy and fascinating interview to MLK50, a nonprofit, and transcribed in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, in which he offered his thoughts on Confederate monuments and President Trump’s handling of recent violence and white nationalist protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Here are perhaps the most relevant quote from the piece, which is very much worth reading in its entirety.

Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale blistered President Donald Trump, called those who would defend the president’s comments “sick or stupid” and called on Memphis leaders to immediately take down the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis, in an interview Wednesday with Wendi Thomas of MLK50: Justice through Journalism.

“Take ‘em down. I don’t know what the hesitation is. I don’t know what we’re waiting on. Whatever gets those things down immediately, we got to do it. It splits people apart. It creates a public safety hazard having that thing in our city. The fact that Dr. King was killed here 50 years ago, and that the Civil Rights Museum sits here in our city, and for that to be out in the open, hanging out, where kids go, where families go, I don’t want that in our city anymore.

For that to sit out there in the wide open in our city, I think, is a disgrace. And to our public officials, I’m challenging you to not put a bunch of red tape in front of us. Don’t create all these silly loopholes and this and that. Take it down; get it out of our city; get it out of sight; and let our city moving forward and into the future and be an example to the rest of the country.”

Fizdale has a history of speaking his mind, having delivered a fantastic rant about poor officiating back in April. This is obviously a more important issue, but that makes it even more important to have personalities with platforms speaking out freely.

[Memphis Commercial Appeal]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.