Gregg Popovich On Donald Trump: “Our Country Is An Embarrassment In The World”

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

In perhaps the least surprising news of the week, Gregg Popovich had a whole lot of thoughts about protests going on in the NFL and elsewhere, and President Donald Trump’s criticisms of those protests.

Popovich has never shied from throwing shade the president’s way. 

Following a trip to the CIA in January in which Trump inaccurately bragged about the size of his inauguration crowd, the San Antonio Spurs head coach told reporters he wished the nation had a president that would show the “maturity and psychological and emotional level of someone that was [Trump’s] age.”

Months later, Pop described the president as a “disingenuous, cynical, and fake” individual who thinks “he’s in a game show.”

During Spurs media day on Monday, Popovich was asked about NASCAR team owner Richard Petty and his warning that team members who protest would be fired, as Trump suggested should happen to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

Pop’s response:

I just heard a comment this morning from a NASCAR owner and from Mr. Petty that just blew me away, just blew me away. Where the owner described the fact that he would get the Greyhound bus tickets for anybody to leave and they’d be fired, and Mr. Petty who said people who act the way we saw on Sunday, “They should leave the country.”

That’s where I live. I had no idea, that I lived in a country where people would actually say that sort of thing. I’m not totally naive, but I think these people have been enabled by an example that we’ve all been given. And you’ve seen it in Charlottesville and on and on and on. That’s not a surprise, get over it. What do we do to get it done? To go to the grassroots and not allow this to happen again?

The Air Force Academy graduate who served for five years in the Air Force then referred specifically to Trump without uttering his name.

Our country’s an embarrassment in the world. This is an individual that actually thought that when people held arms during the games that they were doing it to honor the flag. That’s delusional. Absolutely delusional, but it’s what we have to live with.

So you got a choice; we can continue to bounce our heads off the wall with his conduct, or we can decide that the institutions of our country are more important, that people are more important, that the decent America that we all thought we had and want is more important, and get down to business at the grassroots level and do what we have to do.

The three-time Coach of the Year also had a laugh over the idea that Trump rescinded the champion Golden State Warriors’ invitation to the White House after the team had all but announced their intention to stay home.

Well, I thought it was comical that it was rescinded, because they weren’t going anyway. It’s like a sixth-grader who’s gonna have a party in his backyard and he finds out somebody might not come so he disinvites him.

But again I think, the behavior, although it’s disgusting, it’s also comical.

I’ve half-jokingly said it before, and I’ll half-jokingly say it again: Popovich 2020.

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