What Popovich seemed to find particularly crazy, as he made clear in comments released Monday by the nation, was Trump’s refusal to even go through the motions of trying to calm the country after another death of an unarmed black man in the hands of police officers.
“It’s incredible,” Popovich said. “If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would come out and say something to unite people. But he doesn’t care about bringing people together. Even now. That̵
“It is so clear what needs to be done. We need a president who comes out and simply says that “black lives matter.” Just say the three words. But he won’t and he can’t, “Popovich added. “He can’t because it’s more important for him to mollify the small group of followers who validate his madness.
“But it’s more than just Trump. The system must be changed. I’ll do everything I can to help, because that’s what leaders do. But he can do nothing to put us on a positive path, because he is not a leader. “
Popovich also condemned three other prominent Republican politicians: Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) And, most powerfully, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). Popovich told the nation that Graham and Cruz used to have the “courage” to declare Trump “unsuitable” for his office, but now they have “chosen instead to be invisible and subsequent to this carnage.”
“In the end, it’s like we have a fool instead of a president, while the person who really runs the country, Senator Mitch McConnell, is destroying the United States for generations to come,” Popovich said. “McConnell has destroyed and impaired our legal system. He has tried to destroy the care. He has ruined the environment. He is the champion and Trump is the stooge, and the funny thing is that Trump doesn’t even know it. Trump has always wanted to be part of the group, but McConnell is a group in one and Trump is playing the handset. “
Popovich has won five NBA championships while coaching the Spurs since 1996, giving him the longest service with the same team as any NBA, NFL, NHL or Major League Baseball coach. His 1,272 win in the regular season is the third most all time and his .676 winning percentage is ranked fourth among coaches with at least five full seasons (410 games).
One of the few coaches with a better winning percentage, Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, has also been outspoken on social issues and in his dissatisfaction with Trump’s tone and politics. In response to a tweet on Monday promoting the Nation story, Kerr praised his colleague, writing: “That’s why he’s Pop. As he once told me:” Life is short – you either stand for something or you don’t. “He has always stood for justice and equality and given the rest of us the courage to do that too. “
Trump has generally taken a confrontational stance on the protests, demanding that governors “tougher” in their responses and often suggest calling for military assistance.
In a national address Monday night, Trump said he “mobilized all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop riots and looting, to end destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your other Amendment rights.” to several episodes of violence amid protests he accused of Antifa, among others, Trump said his goal was “to distribute the National Guard in a sufficient number that we dominate the streets.”
In his published comments earlier in the day, Popovich said of the president: “He’s not just divisive. He’s a destroyer. Being in His presence makes you die. He will eat you alive for his own purposes. I’m surprised we have a leader who can’t say “black lives matter.”
“That’s why he hides in the basement of the White House. He’s a coward. He creates a situation and escapes as a teacher. Actually, I think it’s best to ignore him. There’s nothing he can do to make this better because of who he is: a confused idiot. “