San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is a man of few words when it comes to basketball. But as someone who served five years in the United States Air Force, he has a lot of strong opinions about the state of the country and he isn't afraid to share them. So, it’s no surprise that when he was asked to provide his thoughts on what Saturday’s March for Our Lives protest meant for the future of the country, Popovich needed to give more than one or two word response.
“Well, the future of the country is a pretty big thing. There's not one event that is going to signal what it's going to be like in the future. But I can tell you that I'm sure most everybody is going to be unbelievably proud and excited about those students and what they've done,” Popovich said, per CBS Sports. “Because our politicians have certainly sat on their thumbs and just hidden. To most, it's almost like a dereliction of duty to watch all these people get killed with guns—in so many different ways, whether it's nightclubs, or schools, or cities. And it seems that the power and the money are more important than the lives. So to see these teenagers demand this, it takes you back.”
Popovich also commented on how visually impactful Saturday's protests were."You think about it, the civil rights movement didn't flip or change until people saw things on TV," he said. "They saw policemen with fire hoses and dogs biting old black men and women, people being beaten with sticks. Then you get to the Vietnam War, and we're in it forever, and then what happens? Film starts coming back with arms and legs blown off and coffins, and I can still remember the little girl who was napalmed running down the road. Things change when that happens. And in this one, in this situation, these students are the same way. Images are important. Obviously you can't put an image on TV of what happened in that classroom, that would be pretty horrifying."
If there’s one thing we've come to know about "woke" Popovich, it’s that any time he’s talking about his dissatisfaction towards the current state of this country, a shot at Donald Trump isn’t too far behind. Here, Pop questioned the “cowardice” behavior of Trump for seeking refuge in Mar-a-Lago while a protest attempting to bring an end to gun violence was happening in his backyard.
"But if you just sit for a moment and imagine those bullets going through those bodies, and what those bodies might have looked like afterwards, how can the president of the country talk about all the things he's going to do, and then go have lunch with the NRA and change it? It's just cowardice," he said. "A real leader would have been in Washington D.C. this weekend, not at his penthouse at Mar-a-Lago. He would have had the decency to meet with a group, to see what's going on, and how important it is, and how important our children should be to us. So for all those politicians involved, it's just a dereliction of duty."
Popovich also spoke about the culture at large before taking one last shot at Trump. "They can talk about the age limit, and background checks and all that, but the real discussion is what kind of a country, what kind of a culture do we want? You go back and investigate the second amendment," Popovich added. "What does it really mean today? What are we willing to give up for the safety of our children. The people in power don't want to talk about that. The fact that our president left town, is a real indication of how much he really cares about anything other than feeding his insatiable ego."
His Spurs may not be having their greatest season, but Pop definitely has our vote for coach of the year.