San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich joined a chorus of NBA figures in speaking out about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but did so with even more anger and frustration.
“I’m still sick to my stomach, not basically because the Republicans won, but because of the disgusting tenor and tone of the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic,” Popovich began. “I live in a country where half the people ignored all that to elect someone. That’s the scariest part of it to me.”
After initially expressing reluctance to speak, Popovich went on for several minutes. He compared Trump to a “7th or 8th grade bully” that used language that children would be “grounded for years” if they mimicked. SB Nation’s Pounding the Rock has a full transcript of his comments, and you can also listen to them below.
“It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living and with whom I’m living,” Popovich said. “The fact that people can gloss that over and start talking about the transition team and we’re all going to to be Kumbaya now and making the country good without talking about it and any of those things.”
He concluded by wondering how he lives in the same country “willing to be that intolerant” to elect Trump.
“I’m a rich white guy and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it,” he said. “I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now. Or a woman. Or an African American or a Hispanic. Or a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel.”
At the end, he said “We are Rome,” a sentiment he expressed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Last week, Popovich wore a “Vote for Pedro” shirt in the Spurs’ locker room, a nod to Napoleon Dynamite. That was a more playful way of expressing his displeasure with the election. This time, he was much more direct.
Many other NBA figures have spoken out about the results of the election, including LeBron James, Stan Van Gundy, and Steve Kerr. Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers expressed a similar view of Trump, but encouraged those protesting to “go do something” to make a difference.