- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2017

Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale heavily criticized President Trump’s comments on the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, calling for the Confederate monuments in Memphis, Tennessee, to be removed immediately.

During an interview Wednesday to discuss the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, Fizdale was asked what he would do with statues of Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, located in Memphis.

“Take ‘em down. I don’t know what the hesitation is. I don’t know what we’re waiting on,” Fizdaletold Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal. “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.”

Fizdale proceeded to go after President Trump, who said there was “blame on both sides” for the events in Charlottesville that left one woman dead and dozens more injured.

“For this to happen and for our president to put that on the same level as people trying to fight hate and bigotry, peacefully, and standing up for their country and their city and saying this is not acceptable here, when our country went to war, and millions of people died from that war, and now you’re letting it happen on our streets? You can’t put that on the same level,” Fizdale said. “For anyone who can sit there and defend his comments? You’re either stupid, honestly, you’re either just stupid or you’re sick. That’s how I’m looking at it. Sick, I mean you’re totally delusional in the mind.”

The former Miami Heat assistant concluded by expressing a lack of trust in Trump, saying he and others would take it upon themselves to create suitable change.

“I’m not waiting on the president to lead us,” Fizdale said. “I’ve never waited on him to lead us. We’ve been active in Memphis from the beginning. We’ve said it from the beginning; we’re going to amp it up even more and take care of our city from the people who live in this city and take care of the country from the citizens that live in this country.

“We’ve got to do something lasting,” he said. “We’ve got to do something impactful. We’ve got to do something that creates massive change.”

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