Gregg Popovich Says Reaction to Recent Political Comments Has Been Mixed


San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich yells to a referee during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 120-107. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

Darren Abate/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has not hesitated to make political statements in the past, and he revealed he takes the time to respond to much of the mixed feedback he receives.

“I do read everything, and I try to respond,” he said Tuesday, per Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. “It takes time because there’s a lot of letters. But the only ones I don’t respond to are the ones that are so courageous in their negativity that there’s no address, just comments. That’s hard to respond to. But there are people who have responded and disagreed, and say, ‘Why?’ And it’s erudite and intelligible. [And I’m like], ‘Yeah, you’ve got a point.’ Those people deserve to be written back. So, I try. I probably won’t get them all, but I try.”

Popovich turned heads in October when he called President Donald Trump a “soulless coward” after the latter claimed former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush didn’t call the families of soldiers who died, per Dave Zirin of The Nation.

The Spurs coach also called the United States “an embarrassment to the world” when the sitting president criticized NFL players who protested racial inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, per Melissa Rohlin of the San Antonio Express-News.

Wright noted Popovich graduated from the Air Force Academy and served in the military for five years, suggesting he is more qualified than most basketball coaches to weigh in on the political spectrum.

On the court, Popovich’s Spurs are 8-5 on the season and face the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

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