Gregg Popovich: ‘Our Country Is An Embarrassment In The World’; Says ‘White Privilege’ Needs To Be Talked About
Gregg Popovich has long been a critic of Donald Trump. He’s delivered many speeches about his dislike for him and how blind his supporters are when it comes to the things he says or does.
During Spurs Media Day on Monday, the San Antonio Spurs head coach did not mince words when speaking on the state of this country right now.
“Our country is an embarrassment in the world,” Popovich said.
He then had a pretty good laugh at the fact that President Donald Trump withdrew his White House invitation for the Golden State Warriors, because they weren’t going anyway.
“I thought it was comical that it was rescinded because they weren’t going to go anyway,” Popovich said. “It’s like a sixth grader is going to have a party in his backyard and he finds out somebody might not come, so he disinvites them. Although it’s disgusting, it’s also comical.”
He made it clear that he has never and would never tell his players how to act during the playing of the national anthem.
“Each one of them has the right and the ability to say what they would like to say, and act the way they would like to act,” Popovich said. “They have our full support. No matter what they might want to do or not do. It is important to them to be respected by us, and there is no recrimination no matter what might take place unless it’s ridiculously egregious.”
The legendary coach went on to address the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ and said that white privilege needs to be talked about.
“Unless it is talked about constantly it is not going to get better,” Popovich said. “…There has to be an uncomfortable element in the discourse for anything to change.”
Popovich questioned whether Trump supporters are feeling any regret, and whether they are reevaluating their choices.
“I wonder what the people think about who voted for him, where their line is, how much they can take,” he said. “…They wanted change, they felt ignored, they actually thought something would happen that would aid them. But at what price? That is the question.”
Pop also commented on NASCAR owners threatening drivers if they even thought about protesting during the anthem:
“That’s where I live,” Popovich said. “I had no idea that I lived in a country where people would actually say that sort of thing. I’m not totally naive, but I think these people have been enabled by an example that we’ve all been given, and you’ve seen it in Charlottesville.”
Popovich went on to say that there is a bunch of “childishness” and “gratuitous fear-mongering” and “race-baiting” in the White House, and American citizens need to do whatever they can to effect change.
“The bar has been lowered so far that I think it’s more important to be thinking about what to do in a more organic roots, base level,” he said. “Thinking about the efforts to restrict voter registration, comments that demean cultures, ethnic groups, races, women. Those sorts of things.”
“You have got a choice — we can continue to bounce our heads off the wall with his conduct or we can decide the institutions of our country are more important, that people are more important, that the decent America we thought we all had and want is more important, and that we get down to business at the grassroots level and do what we have to do.”