Sacramento Kings hire new head coach

The addition comes at a time when sports coaches are speaking up about workplace issues

Sacramento Kings hire new head coach

The NBA’s Sacramento Kings have a new head coach.

The Kings announced Mike Brown – a current assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors – will be at the helm starting next season. “The Kings finalized a four-year contract with Brown on Sunday after meeting with him over two days late last week,” reported ESPN.

Brown is bringing a wealth of coaching experience with him to Sacramento. He was a head coach for eight years with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers, and had assistant-coaching runs under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs and Steve Kerr with the Warriors.

Brown was the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2007 when he led the Cavaliers to an Eastern Conference championship. His wealth of experience will be crucial as he hopes to end the Kings’ 16-year run of missing out on the playoffs, the longest playoff drought in NBA history.

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Brown is coming to the job at a time when coaches in professional sports leagues are bringing light to workplace issues off the court and the field.

Last month, Steve Wilks – pass game coordinator and secondary coach for the Carolina Panthers – and Ray Horton – former defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns – joined Brian Flores in his lawsuit alleging racist hiring practices by the NFL.

“When Coach Flores filed this action, I knew I owed it to myself and to all Black NFL coaches and aspiring coaches, to stand with him,” Wilks said in a statement released by his lawyers.

“This lawsuit has shed further important light on a problem that we all know exists, but that too few are willing to confront. Black coaches and candidates should have exactly the same ability to become employed, and remain employed, as white coaches and candidates. That is not currently the case, and I look forward to working with Coach Flores and Coach Horton to ensure that the aspiration of racial equality in the NFL becomes a reality.”

Meanwhile, Horton claimed he was subjected to discriminatory treatment when he interviewed for the head coaching position in January 2016.

In his lawsuit, Flores, a Black man who applied to be the head coach of the New York Giants, alleges that he was only interviewed “to appear to provide a black candidate with a legitimate chance at obtaining the job.”

Employment issues have affected even athletes themselves. In February, women soccer stars in the United States reached a landmark $24 million settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation over unequal pay with men’s team players.

But unethical employment practices also affect those who perform during the games.

Previously, there were allegedly requests that went out to professional dancers – many whom have years of experience – asking for “pre-dominantly African American movers” to “volunteer” for SuperBowl halftime show. After that, the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the producers of the show reached an agreement in which “no professional dancers will be asked to work for free” as part of the show.

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