Gregg Popovich on Trump election: “My big fear is we are Rome”

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A lot has been said around the NBA after the conclusion of the 2016 Presidential Election. Donald Trump is the choice of the electoral college, and for San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, that had a pretty significant meaning.

During a pregame media conference Saturday, Popovich went on a six-minute explanation of his feelings over the election.

I’ve highlighted some particularly relevant excerpts from the San Antonio Express News:

“I look at the Evangelicals and I wonder, those values don’t mean anything to them? All of those values to me are more important than anybody’s skill in business or anything else because it tells who we are, and how we want to live, and what kind of people we are. That’s why I have great respect for people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, John Kasich, who I disagree with on a lot of political things, but they had enough fiber and respect for humanity and tolerance for all groups to say what they said about the man.

That’s what worries me. I get it, of course we want to be successful, we’re all going to say that. Everybody wants to be successful, it’s our country, we don’t want it to go down the drain. But any reasonable person would come to that conclusion, but it does not take away the fact that he used that fear mongering, and all of the comments, from day one, the race bating with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living, and with whom I’m living.”

One could go on and on, we didn’t make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. That’s ironic to me. It makes no sense. So that’s my real fear, and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that’s necessary to understand other group’s situations. I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all of that. My final conclusion is, my big fear is — we are Rome.”

We’ve seen a lot of commentary around the NBA since Tuesday. Stan Van Gundy had a few words for the press. LeBron James said he might not visit the White House with Trump in it. Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri said Trump’s election strengthened his team’s appeal as a free agent destination.

The NBA has been the loudest voice of all the major professional sports leagues after the election. It will be interesting to see what comes next.

Listen to Gregg Popovich’s full comments on Donald Trump being elected here.