August 4, 2020 

Wings coach Brian Agler doing his part to continue social justice conversation

One Black-owned business at a time

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Dallas Wings Head Coach Brian Agler talks remotely with the media from IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida, USA on July 11, 2020. Screen capture courtesy of Chris Poss.

Brian Agler knew he needed to do something.

Like countless others, the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others, and the ensuing social unrest and Black Lives Matter protests opened the eyes of the Dallas Wings head coach.

He knew he needed to do something.

The organization as a whole is already supporting Black Lives Matter organizations through sales of T-shirts and working on other community initiatives, but Agler knew he wanted to add a personal commitment.

So once he got to the WNBA’s Florida wubble, he did.

Before every game, Agler takes to social media to spotlight a Black-owned business in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex — the community that is home to the Wings franchise.

“The George Floyd situation obviously triggered a series of events, but it also opened many eyes,” Agler said. “When I saw it I couldn’t believe it and to me it’s never the wrong time to do something that’s right.

“Many of my friends are black women who I’ve coached or coached with and now have children. Listening  to them and their concerns resonated with me,” Agler continued. “What also resonated with me is what “white privilege” really is. White people think privileges are private schools, boats, sports cars , etc. … where black people only want equal opportunity, peace of mind and a level ‘playing field.’”

Wings players and staff have talked at length over the past few months about understanding what others go through and how to make the world a better place, Agler said. But he didn’t know if there was a whole lot he could do back in the D/FW and Arlington areas.

“I was trying to think of something and some of my associates thought about this idea and that it might be a way to just highlight some Black-owned businesses. Hopefully when I get back there I can frequent these companies and these businesses and try to get more visibility for them and the families who own these businesses. That’s what this is all about. Support the community.”

The pre-game shoutouts have been a hit with Agler’s colleagues, Wings fans and even the businesses themselves.

Agler appreciates the support and understands what it took to open not only his eyes but the collective eyes of an entire world.

“The only concern I had when my kids left the house to go with their friends, or went shopping, or went out to eat, was wear your seat belt,” Agler admitted. “My friends who I referred to earlier, are concerned for their kids walking in their neighborhood, driving their car or who they may have a confrontation with.

“All that got my attention.”

Written by Dorothy J. Gentry

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