In the aftermath of the escalating unrest around the country in protesting police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other African American civilians, Pistons coach Dwane Casey made a powerful statement on Saturday.
He decried racism and called for more action and wrote, “Now is the time for real change.”
Pistons team owner Tom Gores followed up Tuesday with another statement.
In it, Gores, who grew up in Flint, said: “Words aren’t enough. The call to action is loud and clear and our organization is committed with a high sense of urgency to helping facilitate not only healing, but change.”
Gores calls for all in the organization to use their “platform, creativity and our persistence to drive action in hopes of making this a turning point.”
Gores noted that the Pistons have existing partnerships with programs such as Building Bridges Through Basketball, which help foster positive relationships with law enforcement and local youths. They’ll also look to strengthen relationships with Peace Players, Bing Youth Institute, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, City Year and SAY Detroit and other organizations.
He also calls for everyone in the organization to bring forward ideas to expand the list.
Here’s the full statement from Gores:
“The protests that have unfolded across our country over the last week and the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor shine a piercing light on issues of racism, police brutality and inequitable justice that continue to divide our country. As an organization, we condemn those things. But words aren’t enough. The call to action is loud and clear and our organization is committed with a high sense of urgency to helping facilitate not only healing, but change.
“Coach Casey said in his statement over the weekend: 'Now is the time for real change.' In that spirit, we will use our platform, our creativity and our persistence to drive action in hopes of making this moment a turning point.
“Uniting the community has long been a priority for our organization, one we will underscore with new urgency by expanding initiatives like Building Bridges Through Basketball, which brings local youth together with law enforcement. We’ll build and strengthen our relationships with Peace Players, Bing Youth Institute, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, City Year and SAY Detroit, and we will support other organizations that bridge divides, educate and support inclusion and create opportunity and equality. Beyond that, we will identify new ways to build civic engagement, rally 2020 Census participation and galvanize voter registration. And we’ll immediately engage our players, our staff, our employees and our partners in the community to bring forward new ideas that will enhance this list.
“The last few months have been difficult and dispiriting, and we have a long road ahead to heal deep wounds laid bare both by a new crisis wrought by the global pandemic, and a painfully old one wrought by the recurring wounds of racial division. We will do our part to contribute to that healing not only through words but action.”