Home | NEWS | Pistons coach pens op-ed supporting for protesting NFL
❰❰ Sarah Stage shares her struggle to be a mother of two
Staten Island boy can unlock his mother's iPhone X ❱❱

Pistons coach pens op-ed supporting for protesting NFL

  • Former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick began the protests during the 2016 NFL preseason to raise awareness of police brutality against minorities
  • The protesters have received significant criticism from President Donald Trump 
  • Van Gundy: 'What is it that they want? Simply and succinctly: equality. Equal rights. Equal justice. Equal treatment by police and others in authority'
  • Unlike NFL players, NBA players are required to stand for the national anthem 

By Alex Raskin Sports News Editor For Dailymail.com

Published: 13:56 EST, 14 November 2017 | Updated: 15:13 EST, 14 November 2017

According to Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, NFL players who protest inequality are 'patriots of the highest order' 
According to Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, NFL players who protest inequality are 'patriots of the highest order' 

According to Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, NFL players who protest inequality are 'patriots of the highest order' 

Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy penned an op-ed for Time in which he supported NFL players protesting inequality and police violence against minorities by sitting and kneeling during the national anthem.

'These are patriots of the highest order,' wrote Van Gundy.

Often referencing the Declaration of Independence and America's history of protesters, Van Gundy does not claim to be an expert on race in America. He does, however, point to his 20 years of coaching experience in the NBA - a league that he estimates is around 75 percent African-American.

Van Gundy also referenced the work of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, author of 'Tears We Cannot Stop; A Sermon to White America,' and even asked Dyson to speak to the Pistons. 

'He discussed the difference between nationalism and patriotism, and it stuck with me,' wrote Van Gundy. 'Nationalism, he said, is supporting your country no matter what, right or wrong. Patriotism, on the other hand, is caring so deeply about your country that you take it as your duty to hold it accountable to its highest values and to fight to make it the very best it can be. Under this definition, these athletes and coaches are role models of American patriotism.' 

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (no. 7)  began the protests during the 2016 NFL preseason, but although he remains a free agent, the protests have continued
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (no. 7)  began the protests during the 2016 NFL preseason, but although he remains a free agent, the protests have continued

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (no. 7)  began the protests during the 2016 NFL preseason, but although he remains a free agent, the protests have continued

Some players, such as Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (No. 27) raise a fist in protest
Some players, such as Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (No. 27) raise a fist in protest

Some players, such as Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (No. 27) raise a fist in protest

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protests during the 2016 NFL preseason. And although he is currently a free agent, the NFL remains engulfed in controversy as other players have continued the demonstrations this season.

This season, NFL viewership decreased 7.5 percent over the first seven weeks compared to the same time frame during the 2016 campaign. 

Van Gundy did mention the outpouring of criticism over the protests – namely from President Donald Trump, who referred to the players as 'sons of b******' – but he ended by focusing on the players' concerns, which he believes are valid.

Specifically the players hope to reduce harsh sentencing guidelines, end mandatory minimum sentences, enact clean slate laws, eliminate cash bail, reform juvenile justice, and put an end to police brutality and racial bias in police departments.

Their message, as Van Gundy sees it, is a very simple one.  

Known for his fiery temper, Stan Van Gundy has a 494-344 record over 12 seasons as an NBA head coach.
Known for his fiery temper, Stan Van Gundy has a 494-344 record over 12 seasons as an NBA head coach.
Van Gundy (left) also guided the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers
Van Gundy (left) also guided the Orlando Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers

Known for his fiery temper, Van Gundy has a 494-344 record in 12 seasons as a head coach

Van Gundy on the NFL's protesting players: 'These are patriots of the highest order'
Van Gundy on the NFL's protesting players: 'These are patriots of the highest order'

Van Gundy on the NFL's protesting players: 'These are patriots of the highest order'

Van Gundy  referenced the work of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (pictured), author of 'Tears We Cannot Stop; A Sermon to White America,' and even asked Dyson in to speak to the Pistons
Van Gundy  referenced the work of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (pictured), author of 'Tears We Cannot Stop; A Sermon to White America,' and even asked Dyson in to speak to the Pistons

Van Gundy referenced the work of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (pictured), author of 'Tears We Cannot Stop; A Sermon to White America,' and even asked Dyson in to speak to the Pistons

'What is it that they want?' Van Gundy asked rhetorically. 'Simply and succinctly: equality. Equal rights. Equal justice. Equal treatment by police and others in authority. Equal opportunity. The second sentence of the Declaration of Independence starts with, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Unlike NFL players, such as Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (seated), NBA players are required to stand for the national anthem. However, the league has many outspoken players who have addressed the same issues as the NFL's protesters
Unlike NFL players, such as Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (seated), NBA players are required to stand for the national anthem. However, the league has many outspoken players who have addressed the same issues as the NFL's protesters

Unlike NFL players, such as Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (seated), NBA players are required to stand for the national anthem. However, the league has many outspoken players who have addressed the same issues as the NFL's protesters

'In over two centuries, from slavery to segregation to lynchings and police brutality to the mass incarceration of people of color, we have not even come close to that ideal.'

Unlike NFL players, NBA players are required to stand for the national anthem. However, the league has many outspoken players who have addressed the same issues as the NFL's protesters. NBA head coaches Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs) and Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors) have both criticized Trump, with Popovich going so far as to call the President a 'soulless coward.' 

A former assistant coach under Hall of Famer Pat Riley with the Miami Heat, Van Gundy was promoted to head coach in 2003 but was ultimately fired before moving on to the Orlando Magic. While there, he coached a pair of All-Star games and guided the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals, where the team lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was fired in 2012 before being hired in Detroit in 2014.

After going just 29-53 last season, the Pistons are currently 10-3 and sit in second place in the Eastern Conference.

After going just 29-53 last year, the Pistons are now 10-3 and sit in second place in the East
After going just 29-53 last year, the Pistons are now 10-3 and sit in second place in the East

After going just 29-53 last year, the Pistons are now 10-3 and sit in second place in the East

Read more:

Article Tags

    No tags for this article

About the author

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted)

total: | displaying:

Post your comment

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Quote

Please enter the code you see in the image:

Captcha
What's next