You can spell hypocrite “P-O-P-O-V-I-C-H.” After all his mouthing off about systemic racism, San Antonio Spurs’ Head Coach Greg Popovich refused to kneel Friday with his team during the national anthem. USA Today sports reported Saturday that he refused to elaborate on why he stood up prior to a game against the Sacramento Kings.
This is hardly what one would expect from the man labeled the NBA’s “most woke” coach!
Popovich (seen standing at center in photo) has been popping off about politics and race ever since Donald Trump became president. He’s been very vocal about police brutality and racism in America. He defends Colin Kaepernick’s boorish behavior prior to the NFL games in 2016. Yet while other NBA coaches are kneeling, he’s weaseling his way out of putting his money where his mouth is.
“I prefer to keep that to myself,” said Popovich when asked why he and assistant coach Becky Hammons stood for the Star Spangled Banner. “Everybody has to make a personal decision. The league has been great about that. Everybody has the freedom to react any way that they want. For whatever reasons that I have, I reacted the way I wanted to.”
USA Today writers Mark Medina and Matt Eppers mentioned that Popovich is a 1970 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, which could explain his refusal to disrespect the flag. He served a five-year military commitment after graduating from the academy.
Popovich “made it clear that all of the teams in Orlando intend to maintain the momentum of the protests against social injustice and systemic racism in a variety of ways,” said Ohm Youngmisuk, an ESPN staff writer.
Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan tried to excuse away the lack of unity between the San Antonio coaches and their players.
“With Pop and Becky standing, I have no thoughts (contrary to) belief in them that is all out of genuine, out of a positive side of their heart,” DeRozan said. “Same way we kneel. Don’t take away nothing from those guys. Pop speaks out. When it comes to Becky, she’s been (on the) front line, fighting for equality since I’ve been a fan of hers playing in the WNBA. So everybody has their own right of making a statement and you can’t vilify nobody for not doing what the other group is doing. I’m all for it.”
Spurs players and coaches all wore Black Lives Matter shirts.
Prior to Friday’s game, Popovich once again indicted America as a racist nation.:
“Considering what’s going on in our country with race, it’s always been our national sin and it’s always been something that has never been faced as well as it should have been. And with the events that we’ve all witnessed in this last year, it’s just logical and wise to keep that momentum going … because it is a national embarrassment. It keeps us from being the country that we should be or the country that was promised to everyone.”
Nothing could be “more poignant” than to have all of the teams in the NBA bubble at Orlando committed to “making statements and letting it be known that this has got to change and not just a little bit,” Popovich added.
Popovich is well within his rights to stand for the national anthem. However, after all his yapping about racism and his defense of social justice protests, he looks bad not joining with his team in a show of unity. It’s just another case of leftists telling others “do as I say, not as I do.” And, as they say in Texas, y’all, he’s all hat, no cattle.