Spurs coach Gregg Popovich spoke about the March for Our Loves protest for stricter gun control in the United States and said he was sure most people were "proud and excited" by the students who played who helped organize and take part in the event, according to Eric Nehm of ESPN.com.
Popovich has established himself as one of the most vocal and socially critical coaches in all of sports, and he has cemented that status over the past few years with commentary on topics ranging from Donald Trump to protesting during the national anthem to police brutality to racial inequality to Martin Luther King Jr.'s place in the current society.
While discussing Saturday's protest, Popovich was particularly critical of the roles and positions politicians have played in the gun control debate, calling Trump's actions in response to the recent events "cowardice."
Check out Popovich's statement in its entirety below courtesy of Nehm.
Well, the future of the country is a pretty big thing. There's not one event that's going to signal what it's going to be like in the future. But I can tell you that I'm sure most everybody's got to be unbelievable proud and excited about those students and what they've done, because our politicians have certainly sat on their thumbs and just hidden. You know, to me it's almost like a dereliction of duty to watch all these people get killed with guns in so many different ways, whether it's nightclubs or schools or our cities, and it seems that the power and the money are more important than the lives.
So to see these teenagers demand this, you know it takes you back. And you think about it, the Civil Rights Movement didn't really flip and change until people saw things on TV. You know, they saw policemen with fires hoses, and dogs biting old black men and women, people being beaten with sticks. And then you get to the Vietnam War, and we're in it forever and blah blah blah and then what happens? Film starts coming back with arms and legs blown off and coffins. And I can still remember the little girl that was napalmed running down the road. Things change when that happens.
And in this situation, these students are the same way. Images are important. Obviously you can't put an image on TV of what happened in that classroom. That would be pretty horrifying, but if you just sit for a moment and imagine those bullets going through those bodies and what those bodies might have looked like afterward, how can the president of your country talk about all of the things he's going to do and then go have lunch with the NRA and change it. It's just cowardice. A real leader would have been in Washington D.C. this weekend, not at his penthouse at Mar-A-Lago. He would have had the decency to meet with a group to see what's going on and how important it is. And how important our children should be to us.
So, for all those politicians involved, it's just a dereliction of duty. And they can talk about the age limit and the background checks and all that, but the real discussion is: what kind of country, what kind of a culture do we want? To go back and investigate the Second Amendment, what does it really mean today? And what are we willing to give up for the safety of our children? The people in power don't want to talk about that and the fact that our president left town is a real indication of how much he really cares about anything other than feeding his insatiable ego.
The Spurs are fifth in the West at 43-30 and are in Milwaukee to take on the 38-34 Bucks, who are eighth in the East.