2017 was the year of the fusion between sports and politics. The NFL suffered huge losses as their players took their political beliefs onto the fields. While the coaches and owners could have done more to stop it, for the most part, they held their piece on the political issues that plagued professional football players to the point of risking their careers to demonstrate about it.
The same cannot be said for San Antion Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. He is, and always has been, extremely vocal about his political beliefs, and they’re not particularly mild ones. Popovich is staunchly anti-Trump and he uses his platform as the coach of an award-winning NBA team to promote that.
According to the San Antonio Current, Popovich took his golden opportunity while the Spurs were playing the Washington Wizards to promote his own political feelings to the reporters that stopped him for questioning. His opinions included some pretty nasty insults directed specifically at the President, as well as other lawmakers, and the NRA:
“While in Washington, D.C., for the San Antonio Spurs matchup against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, head coach Gregg Popovich took the opportunity to once again tear President Donald Trump a new one.
Before the game, Popovich spoke to reporters, who asked more questions about his political views than the game of basketball. Popovich didn’t mind. In fact, he shared why he continues to use his platform to call out the Trump administration.
‘I think we have a situation where we’re going backwards, at least as far as race is concerned and it has to be pointed out,’ Popovich told The Washington Post. ‘Our current president hopes to bore us to death with all these new issues day after day after day that keep him in the news.’
San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich on the second amendment, the current President and more important things than tonight’s basketball game. Don’t tell Pop to stick to sports: pic.twitter.com/vAVCDbv0ye
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) March 27, 2018
Popovich went on to say that controversial comments and one scandal after another keep Trump in the news cycle to a numbing extent. He said this distracts the public from the bigger issues within the government.
‘We take our eye off the ball, and he’s great at it,’ Popovich continued. ‘He brings out the dark side of human beings for his own purpose, which is himself. And if it’s not pointed out and people don’t stand up and point it out, it will become commonplace, and it’s not the world that I want to live in.’
Popovich said his ideal country is better reflected in the thousands of people who took part in the March For Our Lives last Saturday. He also said it was “just cowardice” that Trump spent the weekend at Mar-a-Lago instead of meeting with the organizers of the march, according to SLAM Online.”
While Popovich is fully within his rights to voice his own opinions if the owner of the Spurs allows that, he might be attempting to bite off more than he can chew, getting into it with President Trump. He is criticizing the President for taking his eye off the ball when Popovich is worrying the sports reporters who come to speak to him about politics.
They did play, but the most certainly didn’t win. The Spurs were destroyed by the Washington Wizards during their final matchup of the regular-season, with a final score of 116-106. News 4 San Antonio reports that not only did the team lose, but their coach had some pretty harsh words for his ballplayers after the match:
“From the start of the second period to the end of the game, the Spurs were out-worked and out-hustled by the Wizards, leaving Head Coach Gregg Popovich with much to say following the loss.
While praising the Wizards for their hard play and effort, Popovich made sure to call out his team’s performance or lack thereof with blistering remarks.
‘As far as we’re concerned, I thought it was a really poor example of mental toughness in the sense of no real discipline and no real effort,’ said Popovich.
The Spurs lackluster play couldn’t have come at the worst time.
The team isn’t a lock for the postseason, and each win is vital while each loss is a step backward.
With only seven games left on their slate in the regular-season, the Spurs poor performance was quite disappointing for Popovich, especially after the team rattled off 6-straight wins recently.
‘The lack of mental discipline and mental toughness tonight was very disappointing,’ Popovich said.
The Spurs were out-rebounded by the Wizards (50-37) and showed no spark on the court including lack of court-communication. ‘The excuses and lack of communication and it starts with transition D. If you can’t run back in transition D, then you know, something wrong with that picture,’ said Popovich.
‘There are one or two guys here and there that gave effort but last time I heard it was a team sport,’ Popovich said. ‘I think our guys should be embarrassed.’”
Yes indeed, there are some people who are a part of the Spurs franchise that should be embarrassed, we can all agree on that.