When a reporter asked San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich why it’s crucial for the NBA to promote Black History Month, the team’s outspoken leader wasn’t shy about offering his take.
“I think it’s pretty obvious,” Popovich said Monday night. “The league is made up of a lot of black guys. To honor that and understand it is pretty simplistic. How would you ignore that? But more importantly … we live in a racist country that hasn’t figured it out yet.”
The coach added that it’s “always important bring attention to it, even if it angers some people” and that “you have to keep it in front of everybody’s nose” so they can “understand that it still hasn’t been taken care of, and we have a lot of work to do.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on why it's important for the NBA to promote Black History Month: "We live in a racist country… And it's always important to bring attention to it, even if it angers some people." pic.twitter.com/RCCs7rSJix
— ABC News (@ABC) February 13, 2018
What other sociopolitical commentary has Popovich offered?
- Days after the 2016 presidential election, Popovich said Donald Trump’s victory made him ill.
- “I’m still sick to my stomach, and not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but the disgusting tenor, tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic,” he said. “And I live in that country where half the people ignored all that to elect someone. That’s the scariest part of [the] whole thing to me.”
- Popovich said last September that “our country is an embarrassment in the world” following Trump’s criticisms of NFL players who took a knee for the national anthem. He also called attention to the president’s “childishness and the gratuitous fear-mongering and race-baiting [that] has been so consistent that it’s almost expected.”
- Last October, Popovich called Trump a “soulless coward” and a “pathological liar” after the president said he’d been calling wounded soldiers when past presidents hadn’t.
- And earlier this month, Popovich had a few things to say about race and the chance to succeed in America.
- “When you talk about opportunity, it’s not about, ‘Well, if you lace up your shoes and you work hard, you can have the American dream.’ That’s a bunch of hogwash,” he said, according to Uproxx, adding that “if you were born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage educationally, economically, culturally in this society.”