San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on Monday once again criticised U.S. President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and behaviour.
Popovich has been critical of Trump and Trump voters since his election. In November, Popovich said he was “sick to [his] stomach” over Trump’s election, calling his campaign language “xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.”
Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Popovich said, “You can’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth,” chastising Trump’s defence of his inauguration crowds while speaking in front of the CIA.
On Monday, prior to a Spurs game against the Indiana Pacers, Popovich answered a question about being willing to speak out on politics, saying (via WTHR’s Bob Kravitz), “There will be some people who will say, ‘Just go coach your basketball team. Just go do this, go sit in your sauna, just go run the football,’ whatever it might be.”
Popovich then turned to Trump, saying Trump hasn’t done anything to assuage the worries of the people he “disparaged” during his campaign.
“We all hope President Trump is successful and that he does good things for everyone, but he didn’t start the presidency by mollifying the same groups he disparaged during the campaign. He didn’t say anything about women, or black people, or Mexican people, Hispanics, LGBT, the handicapped, acting like it never happened. So that willingness to do whatever it took to get elected, to say and act the way he did, was unacceptable and really disgusting…Even people who voted for him can see that, but for some reason, they think they can ignore that or forget about it. His personality, his inability to get over himself informs his words and his decisions and that’s what’s scary.”
Popovich explained why he’s willing to speak up on sensitive topics. He also criticised Trump’s administration for not being understanding of “what many, many people have to go through to live in this world.”
“Sometimes when life moves along, you’re presented with situations where you find it necessary to speak because so many people either seem to be afraid to or, more sinister, are unwilling to face things and let things go and worry about their own situations.
“And most of those people have had opportunities the vast majority have not. I think it’s important for people who have had opportunities to make sure other people with opportunities know they were very, very, very fortunate. It could mean your parents…where you were born, what you skin colour is, what country you were born in…It’s all chance. You didn’t do that; you get no credit for that. So a lot of people have an easy time forgetting that and this situation we’re in now, we’re finding a lot of people who are in charge and who will be in charge have very little clue about what many, many people have to go through to live in this world.”
In November, after Trump’s election, Popovich said he worries that “we are Rome.” On Monday he said, “Some days I feel like we’ve been invaded by another power.”
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