Gregg Popovich slams NFL, Roger Goodell and questions himself in discussion on race

Gregg Popovich San Antonio
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Gregg Popovich has been vocal during the latest social crisis in the United States, expressing his opinion on racism and social injustice against Afro-Americans.

The legendary San Antonio Spurs coach talked on the New York Times with columnist Maureen Dowd on the racial issues, saying he still not get it as much as he think he do, especially after several talks with many of his players in San Antonio.

Per NBC Sports:

“Especially if you’re a white coach and you’re coaching a group that’s largely black, you’d better gain their trust, you’d better be genuine, you’d better understand their situation,” he tells me. “You’d better understand where they grew up. Maybe there’s a black kid from a prep school. Maybe there’s another black kid who saw his first murder when he was 7 years old…”

But in recent calls with the Spurs’ players and staff he has been amazed at the level of hurt. “It would bring you to tears,” he says, his voice cracking. “It’s even deeper than you thought, and that’s what really made me start to think: You’re a privileged son of a bitch and you still don’t get it as much as you think you do. You gotta work harder. You gotta be more aware. You gotta be pushed and embarrassed. You’ve gotta call it out.”

Popovich rips NFL,Roger Goodell

Popovich also slammed NFL about its reaction on Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling, claiming that they fear president Donald Trump.

“A smart man is running the NFL and he didn’t understand the difference between the flag and what makes the country great — all the people who fought to allow Kaepernick to have the right to kneel for justice. The flag is irrelevant. It’s just a symbol that people glom onto for political reasons just like Cheney back in the Iraq war…

“[Goodell] got intimidated when Trump jumped on the kneeling,” the San Antonio Spurs coach said, per NBC Sports.

A former Air-Force officer, Popovich is quite outspoken in social matters, helping the NBA move in the direction it is today.