NBA head coaches have not been shy about expressing themselves politically in the aftermath of Donald Trump being elected President of the United States. First, Stan Van Gundy unleashed a rant against Trump, calling him “openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic.” Then, Steve Kerr took a more measured approach but still pushed his point across in sharing his overall disappointment with the result.
On Friday, though, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich held nothing back in addressing the media on the topic, speaking for nearly six minutes and describing in detail his objections to what the electorate produced. Melissa Rohlin of the San Antonio Express-News brings word of the comments, including the highlight that Popovich was “sick to (his) stomach.”
“Right now I’m just trying to formulate thoughts. It’s too early. I’m just sick to my stomach. Not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but the disgusting tenure and tone and all of the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.
“I live in that country where half of the people ignored all of that to elect someone. That’s the scariest part of the whole thing to me. It’s got nothing to do with the environment and Obamacare, and all of the other stuff. We live in a country that ignored all of those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. They’d be grounded for years if they acted and said the things that have been said in that campaign by Donald Trump.
The full audio and transcript can be found above, but the overriding theme of disappointment and anger is prevalent throughout. Popovich’s assertion that children would “be grounded for years” is an interesting and moving picture and, despite a media member attempting to jump into the discussion, San Antonio’s head man wasn’t close to finished.
“I’m not done. One could go on and on, we didn’t make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. That’s ironic to me. It makes no sense. So that’s my real fear, and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that’s necessary to understand other group’s situations. I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all of that. My final conclusion is, my big fear is — we are Rome.”
The notion of the United States of America going the way of the Roman Empire is a jarring one and, frankly, one that will not sit well with everyone. However, Popovich is famous for sharing his views and thoughts in a way that no other NBA head coach can match and, given the situation, he certainly did not pull any punches with these comments. The sports world continues to take a front seat in politics in a way that we have never seen before, but it would be hard-pressed to be more direct in discussing the topic from one point of view than Popovich was on Friday.