- San Antonio Spurs
Gregg Popovich has once again criticized President Donald Trump, saying the country has become “an embarrassment to the world”
Popovich spoke at Media Day for the San Antonio Spurs on Monday and was asked about Trump’s recent comments criticizing NFL players who sit or kneel during the national anthem.
In an uninterrupted seven-minute speech, the Spurs’ head coach slammed the president for being “delusional,” for “gratuitous fear-mongering and race-baiting,” for enabling people like NASCAR owners who would fire people or kick people out of the country for non-violent protests, and for lowering the reputation of the country to the point that the U.S. has become “an embarrassment to the world.”
“I think [the NASCAR owners and others] have been enabled by an example that we have all been given and we have seen it in Charlottesville and on and on and on. That’s not a surprise,” Popovich said. “Our country is an embarrassment in the world.”
In a separate speech, responding to a different question, Popovich also criticized white privilege, calling race “the elephant in the room,” and noting that change won’t happen until people feel uncomfortable, “especially white people.”
“Obviously, race is the elephant in the room, and we all understand that, but unless it is talked about constantly, it is not going to get better,” Popovich said. “People get bored. ‘Oh, is it that again. He’s pulling the race card again. Why do we have to talk about that?’ Well, because it’s uncomfortable and there has to be an uncomfortable element in the discourse for anything to change. Whether it’s the LGBT movement or women’s suffrage, it doesn’t matter. People have to be made to feel uncomfortable, and especially white people, because we’re comfortable. We still have no clue of what being born white means … It’s hard to sit down and decide, yes, it’s like you are at the 50-meter mark in a 100-meter dash. You’ve got that kind of a lead. Yes, because you were born white, you have advantages that are systemically, culturally, psychologically, there, and they have been built up and cemented for hundreds of years. but many people can’t look at it. It’s too difficult … People want to hold their position. They want the status quo. People don’t want to give that up. And until it is given up, it’s not going to be fixed.”
Ultimately though, Popovich said it was time for people to actually do something to create change instead of just constantly complaining about Trump.
“To dwell on that, sometimes I think is the wrong way to go, because it is so obvious now, it’s boring,” Popovich said. “The childishness, and the gratuitous fear-mongering and race-baiting, has been so consistent it’s almost expected. The bar has been lowered so far that I think it is more important to be thinking about what to do… You’ve 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 all thought we had and want is more important and get down to business at the grassroots level and do what we have to do.”
Popovich has not been shy in his criticisms of Trump. Shortly after the inauguration in January, Popovich said “You really can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” In February, Popovich described Trump’s “inability to get over himself” as “scary.“
You can see Popovich’s first speech here:
And here are Popovich’s comments on white privilege.