Stan Van Gundy admits that he has used the term “posse” to describe minorities in the past.
According to the Associated Press, the Detroit Pistons coach said that he has used the term before and it was always to describe minorities and never “white players.” He added that people should not only be aware of the language that they and others use, but also of their “own biases” too.
''I'm going to be perfectly honest here, I've used that word before, OK,'' Van Gundy said, ''and when that all came out I had to ask myself, have I ever used that word before with a white player, and the answer is no. So, I think, look, you have to be aware of the language and you have to be aware a little bit of your own biases if you're going to overcome them and so I took that seriously.''
Van Gundy also said he hasn’t used the term in a “long, long, long time,” not since his days as an assistant coach, but he had to be honest with himself. Additionally, he says that people need to “look in the mirror” and call themselves out on biased or discriminatory things that they do and/or say because calling “out other people on attitudes” isn’t enough.
''And so I think at the time where you're going to call out other people on attitudes, I think you need to be willing to look in the mirror and call yourself out,'' he added. ''I don't think I've used that term in a long, long, long time, but I think going back to my days as an assistant when I was younger I know in the past I have used that term. I'm just being honest and it's not right.''
The term “posse” became a popular discussion point within the NBA community when the Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James called out New York Knicks president Phil Jackson for calling him and his business partners a “posse.”
“You can't hold up the whole team because you and your mom and your posse want to spend an extra night in Cleveland,” Jackson said.
The Cavaliers’ star player said that he has worked extremely hard (and was criticized for in the past) to get his friends business opportunities to better themselves. And now that they are successful, it “sucks” that they are still referred to as a “posse.”
"It just sucks that now at this point having one of the biggest businesses you can have both on and off the floor, having a certified agent in Rich Paul, having a certified business partner in Maverick Carter that's done so many great business [deals], that the title for young African-Americans is the word 'posse.'"
The thing with this term is that it is much like the term “ape.” It is not a racist term like the “N” word, but it is offensive when you use it to describe black people because it has negative racial connotations to it.