KRAVITZ BLOG: Spurs' Popovich continues his harsh criticism of the Trump administration
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will not simply stick to sports.
Pop won't back off, just like Warriors coach Steve Kerr won't back off, just like so many athletes of all stripes and all sports won't back off when speaking about the Trump administration and the state of the nation.
"There will be some people who will say, 'Just go coach your basketball team'," Popovich said. "Just go do this, go sit in your sauna, just go run the football, whatever it might be.
"…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."
Of course, political activism is nothing new in sports. It's been around as long as men and women have been competing. But in my lifetime, I've never heard voices being raised to this crescendo, not since the late 1960's and early 1970's, when the Vietnam War was pulling the nation apart.
And Pop is going to play a role in it, a loud role, whether you like it or not.
We are not talking here about a man who has completely buried himself in the minutiae of basketball, even if he rates as one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. The Merrillville native graduated from the Air Force Academy with a degree in Soviet Studies, and underwent Air
Force training in intelligence gathering. At one time, he thought about working for the CIA.
"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," he said Monday.
"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 color 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.
"Some days I feel like we've been invaded by another power…It's a strange land."