Politics and Coach Pop

It’s not often you hear coaches of professional sports teams dissecting the political scene in America, but San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, probably the best basketball coach in America, isn’t an ordinary coach, and he’s never suffered fools gladly.

As President-elect Donald Trump backtracks on some of his campaign promises and claims, there’s still a barrier to moving on: the campaign was racially charged, and has left deep racial scars and until the new leader acknowledges that there is a problem, his call for unity isn’t going to cut it, Popovich said yesterday in his unusual interview with reporters.

“That’s what worries me. I get it, of course we want to be successful, we’re all going to say that. Everybody wants to be successful, it’s our country, we don’t want it to go down the drain. But any reasonable person would come to that conclusion, but it does not take away the fact that he used that fear mongering, and all of the comments, from day one, the race bating with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living, and with whom I’m living.

“The fact that people can just gloss that over, start talking about the transition team, and we’re all going to be kumbaya now and try to make the country good without talking about any of those things. And now we see that he’s already backing off of immigration and Obamacare and other things, so was it a big fake, which makes you feel it’s even more disgusting and cynical that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up. To get elected. And what gets lost in the process are African Americans, and Hispanics, and women, and the gay population, not to mention the eighth grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on. That’s what a seventh grade, eighth grade bully does. And he was elected president of the United States. We would have scolded our kids. We would have had discussions until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things. He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.”

“I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it,” Coach Pop said.

  • RichardOwens

    http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2016/11/politics-and-coach-pop/

    Thank you coach.

    You are a true leader and a true American with principles and ethics.

  • Jerry
    • Jane

      Thanks for sharing these.

  • Bob Sinclair

    Its analysis like this that causes me to think about my own attitudes towards those who would cynically use whatever means for their own ends. And then wonder if I too have become cynical/distrustful about the whole process and of the people involved in it.

  • wjc

    Thanks, Pop!

  • Jane

    WE should all be “mad as hell and not going to take [trmp] anymore”. Bully tactics and you/who fell for them? Your family, neighbors, friends? Tell them they are disgusting. Good share, Bob, good man, Pop.

  • Anna

    When 9/11 happened, my son wished that he were older so he could go fight Al Quaida. He was 14 at the time, just a freshman in high school. He was also a Boy Scout.

    The principal at his school asked all the Boy Scouts to wear their uniforms to school after the attack in remembrance of all those who died and in support of their families. His troop had 30 members. Only two of them wore their uniforms, my son and one other boy. He said, “Mom, I guess the others were “too cool” to wear theirs.”

    My son was also accepted to the Coast Guard Academy. He chose the Coast Guard because the only way to get in was on your own merits—academics, extra curricular activities and community service. You didn’t have some Senator or Congressman writing a fancy letter to get you in.

    When he found out that officers weren’t allowed to go on rescues unless they were pilots he had a change of heart. He didn’t feel right staying safe on land while his subordinates were battling rescues in a Nor’easter. He went through the Coast Guard’s boot camp called Swab Summer and I talked with him on his first “liberty.” He had to make a decision. Stay in for an additional four years in a job he might not like or leave and pursue other college studies. I told him it was his decision to make and that I could not make it for him but that I would respect his decision, whatever it was.

    He did DOR and he’s very happy now doing composites design. He’s now working full-time at a job he loves and has recently married.

    I asked him what he thought of the election. He was at the local American Legion at a function when we spoke. Most of the members voted for Trump so he got an earful of their opinions. The election result is definitely not what he wanted. Like me he’s going to sit back and watch the show.

    Trump is not an outsider. He’s a usurper who used fear, hatred and intolerance to get himself elected. He’s no different than any other politician who makes promises they can’t keep to get elected. He’s already back tracked on every one of them.

    I’m very worried about what kind of America my grandchildren are going to inherit and I think my son has the same worry.

    Coach Popovich has hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    • Jane

      There are still more good people in the world than bad. Donald Trmp and the hate he “rallied” are not some of them. Now, how do we get back to BETTER?

      • Anna

        We tell the kids at school, “When you see something, say something.” It’s a mantra we’ve been telling them in order to fight bullying.

        As one other poster on this blog said, “We tell our children that bullying is not okay. What do we tell them now?”

        We keep telling them that bullying is not okay, not from kids and not from adults either and we model the appropriate behavior.

        We continue to challenge the fear mongering, the hatred and the intolerance.

        There is nothing else to do because no one knows where this president is leading us and it is likely the media is not going to know either since he already banned them from his plane on the way to Washington.

  • dukepowell

    Popovich must get his in-depth news coverage from the sports pages. Very little of his rant is true.

    • Rob

      What parts of the true things he said strike you as untrue?

      • dukepowell

        “the race bating with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate”

        There was no race baiting.

        “And now we see that he’s already backing off of immigration and Obamacare and other things”

        He is not backing off either of these issues.

        Bob H, there was an election. Your side lost. Guys like me don’t expect you to like it.

        We don’t care.

        • rallysocks

          Is this gas-lighting? Mansplaining? Sealioning? Hard to tell.

          //Bob H, there was an election. Your side lost. Guys like me don’t expect you to like it.

          We don’t care.//

          This, though…we can tell exactly what that is. Of course you don’t care! You got your ‘telling it like it is’ candidate in the White House. Let the great retribution begin!

          • dukepowell

            Yep

          • // We don’t care.

            An attitude that pretty much led to a certain party just getting its a** kicked by voters.

  • crystals

    And on the other end of the spectrum…Bill Belichick.

    //He was then asked about keeping distractions away, and “given the nature of this presidential race …”

    “Seattle,” Belichick said.

    The reporter then said, “Did you find it …”

    “Seattle. Seattle,” Belichick said, interrupting the reporter.

    The reporter went on. “Helpful,” he said.

    “Seattle,” Belichick said.

    The reporter then asked whether the coach has talked to his players about it, or if they had discussed it with him.

    “Seattle,” Belichick said.

    The reporter persisted, asking whether he had any concerns about “locker room rancor as a result of this.”

    Belichick paused for a long time, then said, “Good?”//

    http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/bill-belichick-addresses-donald-trump-letter-now-seattle/story?id=43419754

  • HarborBeach

    You know why I voted for Donald Trump? Precisely because of arrogant know-nothings like Coach Popovich. When someone says something like: “…the fact that he used that fear mongering, and all of the comments, from day one, the race bating with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living, and with whom I’m living.” What race baiting?? That is complete nonsense!! Second, I would find having Hilary Clinton “in charge of our country” incredibly disgusting and frightening. It is so predictable that MPR / Bob Collins put the Coach’s unhinged rant on this Web site because Donald Trump goes against the liberal orthodoxy.

    • It’s a good question. Where HAVE you been living?

      • Jerry

        I’m sure it’s a very nice rock

      • HarborBeach

        Bop – seriously, you need to get outside of your left wing echo chamber. Donald Trump believe that illegal immigration is, get this, against the law! Second, we have every right to be wary of mass resettlement of Muslims in America. Why? Because I can’t think of another ideology where its adherents routinely commit mass murder, in this country no less.

        Also, Bob, please provide me with examples where President Trump used “race baiting” to de-legitimize President Obama.

    • Jeff C.

      “I would find having Hilary Clinton “in charge of our country” incredibly disgusting and frightening.”

      Why? (I’m truly curious.)

      • Nah, let’s not. That part of the election is over and I see no good reason to relitigate and repeat the discussions of the last two years.