Gregg Popovich is done with Donald Trump. (Again.)
The Spurs head coach and outspoken critic of the president sounded off to Dave Zirin of The Nation, criticizing Trump's response to America's current civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, citing a lack of leadership in the face of racial turmoil.
Some of the highlights from Pop's incendiary comments on The Nation:
If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would come out and say something to unify people. But he doesn’t care about bringing people together. Even now. That’s how deranged he is. It’s all about him. It’s all about what benefits him personally. It’s never about the greater good. And that’s all he’s ever been.
It’s so clear what needs to be done. We need a president to come out and say simply that ‘black lives matter.’ Just say those three words. But he won’t and he can’t. He can’t because it’s more important to him to mollify the small group of followers who validate his insanity. But it’s more than just Trump. The system has to change. I’ll do whatever I can do to help, because that’s what leaders do. But he can’t do anything to put us on a positive path, because he’s not a leader. …
He’s not just divisive. He’s a destroyer. To be in his presence makes you die. He will eat you alive for his own purposes. I’m appalled that we have a leader who can’t say "black lives matter." That’s why he hides in the White House basement. He is a coward. He creates a situation and runs away like a grade-schooler. Actually, I think it’s best to ignore him. There is nothing he can do to make this better because of who he is: a deranged idiot.
Popovich's rage would find more targets than just Trump in the interview. The five-time NBA champion also attacked Republican senators Ted Cruz (Texas) and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) for lacking the "courage" to stand up to Trump in the country's current situation.
Popovich also said that the "system has to change" and that he's "willing to do his part." He is likely referring to systemic racism and civil unrest throughout the country and protests and riots calling for change following the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
This isn't the first time Popovich has been publicly critical of the president, with some of his more recent comments painting Trump as "cowardly." The comments came in light of the NBA's controversies with China.
It's not the first time an NBA personality, specifically head coach, has been outwardly critical of Trump. Warriors coach Steve Kerr recently called Trump a "racist" due to his response of the death of Floyd.
Thank you @PabloTorre for the perfect text. In 2017 Trump called kneeling NFL players who peacefully protested police brutality ‘sons of bitches.’ Last night he called Minneapolis protesters ‘thugs.’ This is why racists shouldn’t be allowed to be president. https://t.co/klcg8TeCDK— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) May 29, 2020