SAN ANTONIO — Before the San Antonio Spurs closed out their 2023 season with a 138-117 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, head coach Gregg Popovich met with reporters and spoke his mind about gun violence in the United States.
“I just wondered because we have a governor and lieutenant governor and an attorney general that made it easier to have more guns. That was a response to our kids getting murdered,” Popovich said, referring to Texas politicians and their response to the Uvalde school shooting in May 2022. “I just thought that was a little bit strange decision. It’s just me, though.”
In addition to criticizing Texas politicians, Popovich took aim at Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R) and Gov. Bill Lee (R) and their response to The Covenant School shooting in Nashville on March 27 that left three children and three adults dead.
“I mean, I couldn’t believe it, so I wrote this thing down, but Senator Marsha Blackburn, her comment after was, after the massacre, ‘My office is in contact with federal, state and local officials and we stand ready to assist,’” Popovich read.
“In what?! They’re dead!” Popovich shouted. “What are you going to assist with — cleaning up their brains off the wall, wiping the blood off the schoolroom floor? What are you going to assist with?
“And then there’s Governor Lee. 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, when I’m here at home, on the way it goes through my mind that I hope they’re going to be OK,” Popovich added.
“Well, since you asked, what would it take to budge those people? What would it take?” Popovich said. “I mean, we’ve got two young Black guys in Tennessee who just got railroaded by a bunch of people that I would bet down deep in their soul want to go back to Jim Crow. And what they just did is a good start. It’s beyond comprehension. And what were they guilty of? They actually protested?
“Those (Tennessee Republican) legislators called those kids that were protesting insurrectionists. That’s hard to believe in America. But America ain’t what we thought America was. It’s changed. So if those kids are insurrectionists, what were the people on January 6th? What do we call them? What’s the next step or word or level of violence after insurrectionists? I don’t know what it is. What will it take?” Popovich added.
“You know, the greed of the gun lobbies and the manufacturers is obvious. We all know that,” Popovich said. “Money talks, but the cowardice and the selfishness of the legislators who are so scared to death of being primaried and losing their job, losing their power, losing their salary — you’d like to get each one of them in a room just one by one and say, ‘What’s more important to you? If you could vote for some good gun safety laws that most of the public agrees to, would you do that if it saved one kid? Or is your job and your money so important to you that you would say, screw the kid? What’s, what’s in your mind?’”
“So what will it take? Do we have to show it? Do we have to show that classroom?” Popovich said. “That’s a pretty big step, right? That’s just gross to think about. But do we need to show it, like the girl running with Napalm on her back? So they actually see that these parents couldn’t even tell if it was their kid, that they had to go the DNA route. Will that wake up (U.S. Sen.) Josh Hawley, so he won’t be running like this (raises his right fist) to the whatever they were, insurrectionists? I don’t know what the next word would be.
“You know, these people, they think we’re stupid — Republican and Democratic alike. But they might be right because they get away with that crap. They tell us things about prayers and you know, their offices are monitoring this stuff, like I said. Get away from me. Stop all the (expletive). Stop talking down to us. We’re not stupid, but they will do it to keep their jobs.”
Gregg Popovich addresses gun violence in US, criticizes lawmakers: ‘America ain’t what we thought America was’
Cleveland – Zach Mentz
April 10, 2023