Gregg Popovich Slams Donald Trump, Says America Is An ‘Embarrassment’
Several athletes and notable sports figures have excoriated Donald Trump for his comments and tweets over the weekend about his belief that the NFL should fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem, and one more added his name to the list on Monday.
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“Our country’s an embarrassment in the world,” said Popovich. “This is an individual who actually thought that when people held arms during the games that they were doing it to honor the flag. That’s delusional. Absolutely delusional. But it’s what we have to live with.”
“So you got a choice: We can continue to bounce our heads off the wall with his conduct, or we can decide that the institutions of our country are more important, that people are more important, that the decent America that we all thought we had and we want is more important, and get down to the business at the grassroots level and do what we have to do.”
In January, the Spurs coach said of Trump: “We’ve got to a point where you really can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” By the time the playoffs began, Popovich said, “There’s a dark cloud, a pall over the whole country. It’s got nothing to do with the democrats losing the election. It’s got to do with the way one individual conducts himself. And that’s embarrassing.”
Gregg Popovich: ‘We still have no clue of what being born white means.’ pic.twitter.com/whTL7y4ktu
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 25, 2017
Just before several NBA teams began training camp, Trump announced on Twitter over the weekend that he was rescinding his invitation to the Golden State Warriors to the White House after the team won the championship in June.
Two-time MVP Steph Curry, who has repeatedly slammed the President, said before Trump withdrew the offer that he had no desire to make the trip. LeBron James responded to Trump’s tweet about Curry and the Warriors by calling the President a “bum” and saying visiting the White House was a “great honor until you showed up.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has also lambasted Trump several times and expressed support for his players protesting the national anthem or voicing their opinions on social and political issues.
Popovich called Trump’s rescinding of the Warriors’ invitation to the White House “disgusting … comical … like a sixth-grader who was going to have a party in his backyard and he finds out somebody might not come, so he disinvites him.”
“And, yes, there will be pick-and-roll and transition defense,” Popovich joked after his diatribe against Trump. “We’re going to have film sessions. I’m going to try not to curse, but I probably will.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Kerr also has great respect for Popovich and the Spurs:
Steve Kerr: “I considered skipping practice to watch Spurs Media Day.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 25, 2017
The Spurs have been lauded for boasting a diverse roster and staff: they have included foreign-born players like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, and in August 2014, the team hired assistant coach Becky Hammon — a former Colorado State point guard and the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA.
SAN ANTONIO,TX – MAY 10: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs reacts during game against the Oklahoma City in game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 10, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.