Pistons coach: ‘athletes who protest are patriots’

Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons president of basketball operations and head coach, addresses the media, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Stan Van Gundy doesn’t shy away from publicly sharing his political beliefs.

In an op-ed in Time Magazine, Van Gundy refers to athletes who protest as “patriots.”

In the piece, Van Gundy alludes to this experiences coaching in the NBA for about 20 years, saying he has a unique perspective being able to hear from players and executives of different races. He goes on to say he hopes others join in him supporting the players and that they are risking their jobs for those who do not have a voice to speak.

Van Gundy has made statements supporting players who choose to protest during the anthem in the past. The NBA has had a rule in place for decades requiring players, coaches and trainers to stand during the national anthem.