NBA

Gregg Popovich on racism: The United States 'is in trouble'

By Sports Desk June 06, 2020

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he is "embarrassed as a white person" that George Floyd could die in police custody in such a "nonchalant…casual" manner. 

The Spurs, one of the last NBA teams to issue an official reaction to Floyd's death and ensuing protests against racial injustice, released a series of videos on Twitter, including one from Popovich. 

Floyd, an African American, died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 when an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. 

"It has got to be us, in my opinion, that speak truth to power and that call it out no matter what the consequences," Popovich said. 

"We have to speak. We have to not let anything go."

While the series of videos is the first official response from the franchise, Popovich had previously provided scathing comments about Donald Trump to The Nation, calling the president "deranged" and "a destroyer".

 Popovich added in the video before an emotional pause. "I think I'm just embarrassed as a white person to know that that can happen – to actually watch a lynching."

The 24th-year coach concluded that white people need to do a better job, saying, "We have to do it because black people have been shouldering this burden for 400 years. 

"The only reason this nation has made the progress it has is because of the persistence, patience and effort of black people. 

"It's easy for people to let things go because it doesn't involve them. Our country is in trouble and the basic reason is race."

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