Gregg Popovich is not a fan of Columbus Day celebrations. So much so that the San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ripped a Texas school district for observing it.
On Friday, Popovich used part of his pregame press conference to take a shot at the Alamo Heights Independent School District in Alamo Heights, Texas, for their decision to keep the Columbus Day holiday instead of changing it to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
“He initiated a New World genocide,” Popovich said of Columbus, via the San Antonio Express-News. “He set in motion what followed, the annihilation of every Indigenous person in Hispaniola, which was Haiti and the Dominican Republic today. He took slaves. He mutilated. He murdered.”
Popovich also took issue with the idea that celebrating Columbus Day was an honor for Italian Americans.
“It’s not a knock on Italian Americans. That’s a silly argument. It’s like saying, ‘We should be proud of Hitler because we are German.’ It makes no sense. It’s about Columbus. It’s not about Italian Americans. So, there are a lot of states that have come out and scratched Columbus Day and made it Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But in our city, are we that backward that we have school districts that do that? I am amazed. Just amazed,” he added.
The observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day will occur on the second Monday of every October as a day to appreciate the history and culture of Native American peoples.
The 72-year-old basketball coach who led Team USA to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year has always been very vocal on political issues. He once called out former President Donald Trump for his “embarrassing” tenure in office. Popovich has also highlighted the systemic racism suffered by the Hispanic community as well as being a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.