Stan Van Gundy wrote articles for TIME Magazine that was posted Tuesday, titled “Athletes Who Protest Are Patriots.” It’s a thoroughly well researched, well supported part that voices Van Gundy’s support for players who protest systemic inequalities in the United States, especially NFL players who have been the most prominent protestors.
You can browse the full piece here.
This is not the 1st time that Van Gundy has voiced political opinions. One day following the election, Van Gundy questioned how his country could elect someone “openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic and ethnic-centric.” On media day, he decried the idea of “sticking to athletics,” and he spoke out against Trump once again last month.
In his TIME article, Van Gundy stated that he was writing this story because he believes he has “an obligation to speak out and support, in any way practical, those brave and patriotic athletes who will work to deliver change to your country.” He likewise references NBA players and mind coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich who’ve all spoken publicly about political issues.
Earlier this year, Van Gundy invited an author, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, to speak to the Pistons.
After reading the reserve Tears We Cannot End; A Sermon to White America, I invited its author, the acclaimed scholar and professional on race Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, to come talk to our team. He discussed the difference between nationalism and patriotism, and it stuck with me. Nationalism, he said, is assisting your country no matter what, right or incorrect. Patriotism, alternatively, is caring thus deeply about your country that you consider it as your duty to hold it accountable to its highest ideals and to fight to make it the very best it usually is. Under this description, these athletes and coaches are role types of American patriotism.
Van Gundy also speaks about the precedent that American athletes have to protest and speak away against inequalities, a thing that started long before Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem during SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA 49ers games previous season.
Finally, Van Gundy concludes with simply by highlighting The Players Coalition, a group of about 40 NFL players – led by Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin – who are straight advocating behind the scenes to political leaders for criminal justice reform and other changes.
As Van Gundy’s article outlines in even more fine detail, The Players Coalition works with: Ameliorating harsh sentencing guidelines and ending mandatory minimum amount sentences; enacting clean slate laws; eliminating cash bail; reforming juvenile justice; and ending police brutality and racial bias in police departments.
In conclusion, Van Gundy says these athletes “will work to make America surpass its explained ideals,” and that “we should all join them on ensuring their collective voice is certainly heard.”