“As a white man, I’m embarrassed to know that can happen”: When Gregg Popovich dissected the George Floyd murder and underlined the ugly side of racism in the USA
In addition to unparalleled on-court achievements, Gregg Popovich will always be remembered for fiercely calling out the injustices in American society.
In 1996 San Antonio Spurs General Manager installed himself as the head coach and the organization did not look back ever since. Gregg Popovich always stood up for what he believed in. Without any coaching experience, he elevated the Spurs to a different level altogether.
His on-court achievements are often talked about but off the court, he is just as revered. He has always been extremely vocal about police brutality and systemic racism in the US, especially in Texas. He has spent his career in one of the most conservative places in America and never faltered on his opinions.
Gregg Popovich led the San Antonio Spurs to the playoffs for 22 consecutive years and five titles as well. As a result, he became one of the highest-paid coaches in the league and put the money to good use. He always emphasized how important it is for rich people to give back to the community.
He famously said, “Because we’re rich as hell and we don’t need it all, and other people need it. Then, you’re an a– if you don’t give it. Pretty simple.”
Coach Pop is involved in multiple charitable organizations in the US and internationally. He has always taken a personal interest in San Antonio Foodbank and Shoes That Fit to help those in need.
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Gregg Popovich is embarrassed as a white man
It is not just silent charity with coach Pop. He is extremely vocal about everything that is wrong with the US and oftentimes without any filters. And systemic racism tops his list.
Watch San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich give an emotional statement on the death of George Floyd. Follow our live updates here: https://t.co/8f7EFQVqWs pic.twitter.com/wr4Y9cCjUh
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 7, 2020
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020, the San Antonio Spurs coach was livid. He has been critical of police brutality for years now and watching a black man die left him ashamed as a white American.
“I think I’m just embarrassed as a white person to know that that can happen. To actually watch a lynching. We’ve all seen books, and you look in the books and you see black people hanging off of trees. And you…are amazed. But we just saw it again. I never thought I’d see that, with my own eyes, in real-time.”
He never shies away from using his influence to ask uncomfortable questions. He has been the most vocal critique of the Trump administration and coming from a republican majority state it is commendable.
Gregg Popovich has always walked the talk with his charity. After the 104-102 victory over Utah Jazz this week he crossed Don Nelson for the most wins as a coach. He is turning some of his handwritten plays into NFTs to raise money for the San Antonio food bank. Only Gregg Popovich can think of celebrating a career milestone in this manner.
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