Left-wing activist and losing NBA coach, Stan Van Gundy, spent time with Sporting News to discuss racism, sexism, and Trump bashing instead of spending it studying how to win basketball games, which is what he is paid to do by the Detroit Pistons.
“I’m sick of people who supported Trump saying ‘get over it, you lost,’” said Van Gundy. “That’s not how America works. We get to critique him the same way they constantly fought Obama.”
Spearheading the cellar-dwelling Pistons with a 16-20 record, the portly 57-year old summed up one of his team’s losses two weeks ago saying, “We got crushed at both ends… It’s what you do on the court. Talking’s easy. I have nothing to say. It was a disgusting performance, by all of us, me included. It was unprofessional, embarrassing, humiliating, whatever you want to say. It was terrible.”
But talking, not coaching, is what Van Gundy does best, “As long as I have a platform I will continue to speak up because it’s my responsibility.”
Here are a few of Van Gundy’s talking points he shared in his SN interview:
You see this study from Harvard where a woman sends in the (same) resumé as a man and she gets called back four times less. All they did was change the first name and the men got more call backs. This what my daughters are up against. A lot of the time when you sit in a position of privilege like I do, you don’t realize how things are until you live closely to those are dealing with oppression. It’s the same with my players, staff and other people around the NBA.
Then you read books like Michelle Alexander’s “New Jim Crow” where it shows society locked up an entire generation of young black men for small drug crimes. It’s done so much damage. You have whole communities ruined over petty marijuana possession. You almost feel ignorant for not knowing this stuff before. You then say, “Wow it shouldn’t be like this.” And then you see this election on top and you have to say something, so I did.
On President-Elect Donald Trump:
Absolutely, we took a major step back. We elected a man who said some of the worst things ever, and people still voted for him. It’s been over a month and I still can’t believe so many were willing ignore racism, sexism and mistreatment of the LGBTQ community. He said things that were beyond what we should expect in America.
On Trump supporters:
I do wish I wouldn’t have made the blanket statement about not respecting anybody who voted for Trump. I spoke from a place of comfort. I make an excellent salary and work a great job. A lot of the people who voted for Trump don’t. Let’s say you say you’re out of a job and believe this guy is going to get you on back on your feet. You might overlook some stuff not because you believe it. But you’re that desperate. They’re wrong. But it’s what they believe. It’s easy for me to say, “How can they vote for a monster?” But when people fear they make awful choices. Even if that means looking over a racist and sexist man. I should not have said I don’t respect them. What I don’t respect is all the things that were said.
On Van Gundy being a person of privilege:
It’s the people who are advantaged who need to see things as unfair. No movement in our history has ever worked with only the oppressed people fighting. That’s why the rollback of Affirmative Action and Voting Rights Acts is so flawed. I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t need to protections but we don’t. It’s up to them to tell us when things are even, and we aren’t close to being on an even playing field. I don’t see how anybody can look at our systems and see the world as equal. If you are, you’re lying to yourself.