San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has lashed out at U.S President Donald Trump amid the country’s ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.
Popovich spoke to The Nation‘s Dave Zirin over the phone on Sunday night and had quite a lot to get off his chest.
“The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism, and we’ve seen it all before, but nothing changes,” he was quoted as saying. “That’s why these protests have been so explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever, because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change.”
Gregg Popovich Has No Respect For Trump’s Leadership
Pop would go on to launch a scathing attack on Trump, who he says is divisive and a very poor leader.
“It’s so clear what needs to be done. We need a president to come out and say simply that ‘black lives matter.’ Just say those three words,” the head coach remarked. “But he won’t and he can’t. He can’t because it’s more important to him to mollify the small group of followers who validate his insanity. But it’s more than just Trump. The system has to change. I’ll do whatever I can do to help, because that’s what leaders do. But he can’t do anything to put us on a positive path, because he’s not a leader.”
“He’s not just divisive. He’s a destroyer. To be in his presence makes you die,” Pop continued. “He will eat you alive for his own purposes. I’m appalled that we have a leader who can’t say ‘black lives matter.’ That’s why he hides in the White House basement. He is a coward. He creates a situation and runs away like a grade-schooler. Actually, I think it’s best to ignore him. There is nothing he can do to make this better because of who he is: a deranged idiot.”
Just about every organization has come out with statements condemning Floyd’s killing, from sports leagues and teams to entertainment platforms such as Netflix and PlayStation, but Trump has yet to take a clear stance on the issue unless you count his insistence on speaking out against the rioting that has taken place since the tragic incident in Minneapolis.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has issued a lengthy statement on the matter while Michael Jordan – usually very quiet when it comes to political issues – has expressed anger and hurt in a statement of his own.
Popovich, along with other NBA coaches, helped form a committee within the National Basketball Coaches Association to target racial injustice in cities in which NBA teams are located very recently and it will be interesting to see how things proceed on that front over the coming weeks.