The head coach of New Orleans Pelicans, Stan Van Gundy, argued all white people are “racist” and described himself as the “poster boy of white privilege.”
“We’re the ones that are racist,” Van Gundy, who is white, told ESPN’s The Undefeated this week when asked about his social activism.
“It’s a white person’s problem that affects people of color, and so we’re the ones who have to change,” he continued. “… Certainly you want to promote black voices, right? But if they’re the only ones speaking out, a lot of people just push it aside. There needs to be people saying, ‘No, wait a minute. This is wrong, and we need to correct these things.’”
ESPN—which is a subsidiary of Disney—was lambasted earlier this year after one of its hosts claimed the New York Nets had hired white NBA hall of famer Steve Nash over less qualified black candidates because of basketball’s “white privilege” problem.
Black NBA great Charles Barkley was among those who swiftly dismissed the absurd and “dishonest” claim.
Van Gundy, on the other hand, appeared to agree with the premise, claiming he is part of the problem of racial injustice that is rampant in the NBA and other professional sports.
“I’m a poster boy for white privilege,” he claimed.
“I’ve led a privileged life, so I only know about these issues—and these problems, and these inequities—from people I’ve been associated with, work with, know, care about,” he added. “I don’t carry the issue. But just because something doesn’t happen to you, if it’s happening to people you know, if it’s happening to people you care about, you care about the issue.”
The Pelicans recently hired Van Gundy, who was fired from the Detroit Pistons in 2018.
Even though he has only been back in the league for a couple of month, Van Gundy was chosen to be part of the “NBA Coaches For Racial Justice” committee because of his work in the social justice movement.
David Griffin, the Pelicans’s executive vice president of basketball operations, even admitted Van Gundy’s support for the leftist social-justice agenda was one of the reasons he hired him.
“In an era like we’re living in, being someone who has a positive track record in the area of social justice was important, because it matters to players,” Griffin told The Undefeated.
“His reputation in that space really spoke for itself,” Griffin continued. “And I think when you look at everything that he has done, his action, not what he says, but the things he invests his time, energy and money in, I’m really proud that he is our coach. I think players respect him as a man for those things, and that matters enormously.”
The NBA as a whole has thrown itself headfirst into the social-justice movement—specifically the Black Lives Matter movement—and, as a result, the league has suffered a consistent decline in ratings over the last year.