[San Antonio Spurs\Gregg Popovich]
Popovich: “People who don’t understand Black Lives Matter or are offended by it are just ignorant.”
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, never one to bite his tongue, is once again speaking out about racism in America.
In a recent video conference with reporters, Popovich was questioned on his feelings regarding social justice.
“It’s no different for me than it is to anybody else who cares about justice and who can be empathetic to the fact that justice has been denied to a group of people for far too long. And enough is enough,” said Popovich. “Everybody’s tired of it, especially the group that has been degraded and savaged for so long. People who don’t understand Black Lives Matter or are offended by it are just ignorant.”
Popovich has reportedly been spending time while the NBA has been on hiatus educating himself about America’s history of racial terrorism and no as much on basketball.
“As far as basketball is concerned, I did nothing,” Popovich said. “I didn’t watch one film, look at one play, look at one stat. It’s basketball … you pick that up very quickly, like riding a bicycle. …My time was more spent with family. Like a lot of you probably, reading, thinking about where we are, looking at our country, figuring out where we might go as a country. All the thoughts that became even more pronounced because of the virus and because of the situations where we had a lot of time to think or to be alone or to change course in our lives. That’s where my time was spent. We talked to the players. We did our Zooms and tried to stay in touch that way, but as far as basketball is concerned, it was quite unimportant.”
At a recent team meeting inside the quarantine bubble in Orlando the Spurs team reportedly spoke for over an hour about COVID-19 and systemic racism.
During a Zoom conference with reporters, Popovich spoke about the importance of the moment.
“As we all are well aware, it’s a seminal moment in the sense that we have an opportunity to do something transformative…,” Popovich said. “In this particular situation, talking about racism, it’s been talked about many, many times over centuries, and this is where we are. The league, the players, the coaches, the staff, everybody is committed to keeping it up front in everybody’s conscience … because that’s what it takes. It was the same way with voting rights, which, of course, are now in danger, and the LGBT movement. No matter what progress has been made, it’s always been made because of pressure. It didn’t happen because people just said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do this.’ People, governments, politicians were forced into doing things.”