He referred to his team’s victory as “meaningless” in light of the tragic church shooting near San Antonio.
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs coach, has a legendary reputation for being painfully, awkwardly silent when confronted by the media when he has nothing of substance to say. However, we’ve seen countless instances in the last year when the normally gruff coach is more than willing to open up about politics, humanity, and the pressing social issues in the United States.
On Nov. 5, the San Antonio Spurs played and beat the Phoenix Suns 112-95. But after the game, basketball was the last thing on the coach’s mind when addressing the media. Earlier in the day, a shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, just about 45 minutes from San Antonio, left at least 26 dead and another 20 wounded at a church.
Though the sports reporters were doing their job in asking Popovich game-related questions, the coach was doing his job as a concerned citizen by directing attention to the tragedy at hand, rather than a relatively inconsequential game.
He said to reporters:
“We won a basketball game. But considering what’s gone on today, it’s pretty meaningless. When you think about the tragedy that those families are suffering, it’s just inconceivable and impossible to put your head around. So I think talking about basketball tonight is probably pretty inappropriate. You guys have a good night.”
Popovich has been openly critical of the Trump administration, calling him a “soulless coward,” and a vocal advocate of social change for equality, endearing him to many inside and outside the sports world.