One angry guy, Gregg Popovich, the for-now idled coach of the Houston Spurs
basketball team, gave an interview to Dave Zirin of The Nation on Sunday about the
current state of affairs in the USA, in particular venting his anger and ire about the
George Floyd execution. But he also weighed in on Donald Trump while he had the
magazine’s attention. Below is the interview, or as much as I could present here from a
source other than the magazine:

“The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism and we’ve
seen it all before but nothing changes. That’s why these protests have been so
explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there
will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem
forever because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change.”
Popovich then gets far more specific regarding in his opinion the major source of the
problem, the aforementioned occupant of the nation’s house.

“It’s unbelievable. If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would
come out and say something to unify people. But he doesn’t care about bringing people
together. Even now. That’s how deranged he is. It’s all about him. It’s all about what
benefits him personally. It’s never about the greater good. And that’s all he’s ever been.”
“It’s so clear what needs to be done. We need a president to come out and say simply
that ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Just say those three words. But he won’t and he can’t. He
can’t because it’s more important to him to mollify the small group of followers who
validate his insanity. But it’s more than just Trump. The system has to change. I’ll do
whatever I can do to help because that’s what leaders do. But he can’t do anything to
put us on a positive path because he’s not a leader.

“It’s like what Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz used to say when they had the courage to
say it: He’s unfit. But they have chosen instead to be invisible and obsequious in the
face of this carnage. In the end what we have is a fool in place of a president, while the
person who really runs the country, Senator Mitch McConnell, destroys the United
States for generations to come. McConnell has destroyed and degraded our judicial
system. He has tried to destroy heath care. He’s destroyed the environment. He’s the
master and Trump’s the stooge, and what’s funny is that Trump doesn’t even know it.
Trump’s always wanted to be part of the in-group, but McConnell is an in-group of one
and Trump plays the fool.

“He’s not just divisive. He’s a destroyer. To be in his presence makes you die. He will
eat you alive for his own purposes. I’m appalled that we have a leader who can’t say
‘Black Lives Matter.’ That’s why he hides in the White House basement. He is a coward.
He creates a situation and runs away like a grade-schooler. Actually, I think it’s best to
ignore him. There is nothing he can do to make this better because of who he is: a
deranged idiot.”

There’s far more to the interview, including Popovich’s take on how to make the protests
very effective and powerful. But this we’ll hold for another airing. For now, let’s face it: if
a sidelined professional coach with some time on his hands because of a pandemic
puts himself out there, well, where are some of the others who have different kinds of
bully pulpits? Saw today that apparently Tiger Woods had something to say, but need to
dig deeper to find out what he thinks. We need more than ministers and priests and
rabbis speaking truth to power; we need more than the usual, albeit powerful and
important pundits as well. We need folks from all walks of life who have access to the
various “pulpits” by virtue of their positions and followings. Right now we need every
damned voice raised to create such a din it will be deafening and one hopes, downright
scary to the Republican folks who so far have remained stony silent in the face of the outrages their President is committing on an hourly basis. Trump is a lost cause;
perhaps those Republicans in elected positions are too. But at least for now I have to
believe some of them are not unmoved by this spectacle of malevolence.


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15 Comments on "You Know It’s Bad When A Sports Coach Spouts Off"

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Cherl Harrell

Between this and the statement from James Mattis, I think the dam is breaking.


“If it keep rainin’/Levees gonna break…”

p j evans

Hint: if you pasted this text in, please check the line breaks before you hit post, or you’ll spend a lot of time fixing them after, because all those misplaced breaks make it hard to read.


Pop is the leading voice when it comes to speaking on Teump in the sports world.

Annette Weatherman

Why do you demean him by saying that he is “spouting off”? I don’t get that at all.


Excuse me, Houston Spurs??? What the heck happened while the NBA season was suspended?

Nick Sullivan

Coach Pop has never been reluctant to speak out, at any time. It must irk a lot of Texas sports fans — the Trumper/GOP kind — but because he’s been successful, and they can’t typecast him as some weenie liberal — they usually swallow it. But I’m glad they have to.


Popovich has never held back when someone in the spotlight like himself needs to come forward and share an opinion that many of us non-celebrity types feel ourselves