Pistons Players Offer Sign of Support to NFL, NBA

During the Golden State Warriors’ media day on Friday, Steph Curry doubled down on his stance that he wouldn’t be going to the White House to celebrate the Warriors’ NBA championship.

“That we don’t stand for basically what our president … the things that he said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right terms that we won’t stand for it. And by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” he said.

“It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion. You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things, from [Colin] Kaepernick to what happened to [Michael] Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that we need to kind of change. And we all are trying to do what we can, using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that.

“ … I don’t think us not going to White House is going to miraculously make everything better … [but] this is my opportunity to voice that.”

During Monday’s media day, the Detroit Pistons also weighed in with their thoughts about Curry’s stance, and the NFL players who protested en masse during Sunday’s national anthems.

“I thought what the NFL did was commendable. Those guys did it as a team. Whatever you believe in, whatever you’re behind, all 53-men might not be of the same accord. They might not agree with everything. But when you have each other’s back that goes a long way. It brings us together,” guard Ish Smith said.

“We’re doing this for entertainment. We’re not saving lives. We’re not doctors or lawyers. But for three hours, or two and a half hours, if we can bring people from all walks of lives together, that’s what sports does. I’m happy to be a part of that, and I commend the NFL for doing what they did.”

Anthony Tolliver, who was brought in this past offseason after playing with the Sacramento Kings last season, offered his thoughts as well as saying the Pistons may do a protest of their own this season. The Pistons last year, stood with their arms locked last season after ex-49-er Colin Kaepernick took a knee last season.

“We haven’t had a chance to really discuss it as a team, but we will. We’ll make a decision as a team or individually. At the end of the day, we’re in this together whether it’s one guy, two or all five. We’re all on the same page and we’re together as brothers,” Tolliver said.

“As far as the NFL is concerned, it is what it is. Some guys knelt, and other guys stood. As long as those guys aren’t alienating their teammates, as long as they’re not doing something to put a negative light on their team, I don’t view it as a negative thing.

“Those guys are doing what they feel is right. And you should always do that. I don’t care what color you are. If you do what you feel is right, then you’re doing the right thing. Unfortunately some people are offended by it. But, a lot of people were offended by people sitting at a lunch counter. A lot of people were offended by Rosa Parks and whether she sat in the back, or the front of the bus, or anywhere on the bus.

“Sometimes being offensive isn’t the wrong thing. That’s their decision to do that, and I respect it.”

Point Guard Reggie Jackson, who was raised in a military household also added his thoughts.

“Each person is an individual. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a debate or a discussion. What people are standing up for (by kneeling), that’s something they feel they need to do,” he said.

“It makes me proud as an athlete, that no matter what your stance is, you’re using your platform to try to better the world in whichever way you feel, needs bettering. I appreciate that, and I have appreciation for the military that helps protect those freedoms by laying their lives on the line. To have the fortitude to stand up and say something, or just having a stance is something to be proud of.”

While it is still unknown whether or not the Pistons will offer a visual sign of protest again this season, they have the support of owner Tom Gores who offered a statement via twitter on Monday. They also have support of their head coach in Stan Van Gundy.

The Pistons being training camp on Tuesday with a shoot around at the practice facility in Auburn Hills. They will being the pre-season at home at Little Caesars Arena on Oct. 9 against the Pacers.