Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy has taken strong stances in recent years about his views on political and social issues. He famously vented on the day after President Donald Trump was elected last year and has been outspoken about many issues, including protests by athletes about racial and social injustices. He made a new foray, authoring an op-ed for Time Magazine: “Detroit Pistons Coach: Athletes Who Protest Are Patriots,” which was published online Tuesday morning. “In a time where bigotry seems on the rise and commitment to racial equality on the decline, I have an obligation as a citizen to speak out and to support, in any way possible, those brave and patriotic athletes who are working to bring change to our country,” Van Gundy wrote. “I believe all of us do.” He mentioned the harsh criticism hurled at players from the NFL and WNBA for taking a knee or raising a fist and disagreed with the notion that those silent forms of protest dishonor the country because they came during the national anthem. The Pistons players had similar sentiments, but after inviting noted author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson to speak to the team during training camp, Van Gundy and the team got an education, especially in the difference between nationalism and patriotism, and the issues with he calls “racist language” in the later verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”