9:20 P.M. EASTERN TIME.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gorse said Saturday that a recent ad urging the league and its owners to force him to sell his club because he owns a telecommunications company in prison hurts him and that he is committed to changing the system.
It hurts, Gorez said in a media intervention before the Detroit house was opened. I’m not gonna tell you I don’t. I have a family, but I always look at things and think: I’m a man. I’m a man: Life has a purpose, and you’re put in this place to make a difference, so maybe it’s a blessing. I also think of the people, especially in the African-American community, who have suffered much more from the judgment and pain than I have. You can judge me in a certain way, and then I say: Come on, Tom, let’s fight.
A full-page ad in the New York Times of the 20th. December: As Black Lives Matter, what about Tom Gorse, owner of the Detroit Pistons?
Bianca Tylek is the founder and executive director of Worth Rises, a nonprofit organization in New York City that paid for the ads.
He also encouraged readers to visit a website detailing how ownership of Gores Securus Technologies helps set prices for phone calls to inmates in hundreds of counties across the country, in some cases charging up to $15 per minute call.
Don’t expect anyone who exploits struggling families to tell you that they will continue to exploit struggling families, Tylek told ESPN. In the end, Tom is now in a difficult situation because he gets a lot of bad public press.
Most importantly, we’re three years away from him owning the company, and now he’s talking about change, she added. For example, if he was really sincere and had plans for all these things, what did he do for three years? And the little that has happened has happened in recent months, at a time when the company was unfortunately booming because of the VIDOC. For the time being, prison visits are closed.
Platinum Equity, a Gores private equity firm based in Beverly Hills, California, bought Securus in 2017 for $1.6 billion, but activists say the ownership is incompatible with NBA support for social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Mr. Gorez said he is determined to change the system, but it will take time and patience.
We did it. It’s just that not everyone knows it and we may not even know enough about it, but we’ve done a very good job of reforming the industry and forgetting about the company, Gores said. And it’s crazy, it’s not that I’m excited, I just think it’s a unique opportunity for me and for us to have a small impact on our country and on the world, because it’s not just a company, it’s an industry that really needs to change.
We learned that, but we did, and we can communicate with you more and more about it, he continues. That’s what we do, we get in touch with really important people, influential people. The problem with space in this industry is that we really have to work with people. We have a very, very productive activist we’re talking to. We trust the people in the league. We’ll discuss it with the players’ union. So I think we do it, and it even goes beyond basketball. Basketball is basketball.
Gores resigned in October as a trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, amid the controversy over how he managed Securus’ prison phone service. Gores has been the manager of the museum since 2006.
Gores says he and his team are lobbying for an end to the exploitation of prisoners and their families, especially by prison phone companies.
In December, he also helped the Marine Corps Reserve Children’s Toys program deliver more than 10,000 toys, bicycles and tablets to families in Michigan, particularly in Detroit and Flint.
I’m just a little boy from Flint, I grew up in Flint….. I see that sometimes you come across something you haven’t signed up for, and then you come across things that need to change, go forward, etc., Gores said. I happen to be very concerned about this matter, and people have asked me: You have to sell the company? No, why should I go where we can make a difference?
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., President and CEO of the National Association of Newspaper Publishers, supported Gores’ efforts at Securus in an article published on 8. December published in the Michigan Chronicle. Mr Chavis, who was once an advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., remarked that there were still major changes to be made, but that the effort was an important start.
Platinum Equity is committed to supporting efforts to reform business practices in the correctional services sector, including B. who has reduced the average cost of telephone calls by 30% over the past three years, and has committed to reduce another 15% over the next three years, according to the company’s statement.
According to Mark Barnhill, Platinum Equity Partner and Vice Governor of the Pistons, Gores also agreed to donate all his personal Securus benefits to the reform. Barnhill also said that Worth Rizes had been invited to join the partnership, but the group declined the invitation in favor of a call from a remote location. Tylek vehemently denies that this has always been the case.
The idea that he’s an agent of change is, frankly, so deliciously paternalistic. Like he’s so condescending to people. It’s just like: I have $6 billion, but I see this as a great opportunity to do good for the community, Tylek said. We’re not asking you to come and save people, we’re asking you to stop taking them with you. Stop hurting them, stop hurting our communities. So before you can argue that you want to do good and all those things, you have to stop doing the damage you’re trying to fix. These two things can’t function in the same room.
The NBA has recognized Worth Rice’s passion for prison reform and has told ESPN that it is in regular contact with Tom Gores to share his concerns. The League has stated that Mr Gores and his colleagues have had ongoing discussions with a number of non-profit associations focusing on similar reforms, and we support their efforts to address these important issues.
I believe, and maybe I’m crazy, that in the end it will be a blessing that I’m here and that someone cares, Gores said.
John Barr of ESPN contributed to this report.