When San Antonio Spurs‘ coach Gregg Popovich talks, you listen. Beyond being a five-time champion and the winningest coach in NBA history and a Hall of Famer, Popovich has also established himself as the NBA’s moral conscience, passionately speaking his mind about social and political issues. In his final pre-game press conference of the year (and potentially of his career), the Spurs coach turned his focus on gun violence in America in the wake of last month’s tragic school shooting in Tennessee.
“I mean, I couldn’t believe it,” Gregg Popovich said, “so I wrote this thing down, but Senator Marsha Blackburn, her comment after the massacre was, ‘My office is in contact with federal, state and local officials and we stand ready to assist.’ In what?! They’re dead. What are you going to assist with? Cleaning up their brains off the wall, wiping the blood off the schoolroom floor?”
“And then there’s [Tennessee] Governor Lee,” the Spurs legend continued. “I’m sorry to go on and on, but Bill Lee: ‘I’m closely monitoring the tragic situation. Please join us in prayer.’ What are you monitoring? They’re dead. Children—they’re dead. When I pick up my 6 and 11-year-old grandkids at school…on the way it goes through my mind that I hope they’re gonna be okay. And most of you in this room, when we were in school, we worried if Nancy would dance with us on Friday after the football game or something. That was our anxiety.”
“But [Republicans] are gonna cloak all this stuff in the myth of the Second Amendment, the ‘freedom.’ You know, it’s just a myth. It’s a joke. It’s just a game they play…Is it freedom for kids to go to school and try to socialize and try to learn and be scared to death that they might die that day?”
“But Ted Cruz will fix it, because he’s gonna double the number of cops in the schools,” Popovich elaborated. That’s what he wants to do. Well, that’ll create a great environment. Is that freedom? Or is it freedom to have a congressman who can make a postcard with all his family holding rifles, including an AR-15 or whatever? Is that cool? Is that like street cred for a Republican? That’s freedom? That’s more important than protecting kids? I don’t get it.
“You know, the greed of the gun lobbies and the manufacturers is obvious. We all know that. Money talks, but the cowardice and selfishness of the legislators who are so scared to death of being primaried and losing their job, their power, losing their salary…”
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