Fooch’s update: There is a transcript of more comments he made. It’s great stuff.
The 2016-17 NBA season is just about to get underway, with the first preseason games taking place this weekend. The season starts amidst a growing number of NFL player protests taking place during the National Anthem. The peaceful protests are aimed at social injustice in America, specifically for people of color.
The NBA has a recent history of some social activism, and the big question is how much of the NFL’s protests will carry over to the NBA. Coaches and players are getting questions about it. Steve Kerr and Steph Curry have both offered support. On Monday, San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich was asked about the potential for protests among his players. Popovich offered some clear, logical thoughts about his players and about Colin Kaepernick and the specific protest method. I’ve transcribed them below, but you can also watch the video below that.
On if he’ll talk with or support any players who might want to protest:
My players are engaged citizens who are fully capable of understanding what their values are, what they think is appropriate, inappropriate, what they feel strongly about. Whatever actions may or may not be taken, are their decisions. I’m not going to tell anyone ahead of time that if they don’t do A, B, and C, they’re gonna be gone, or traded. I think that’s ignorant.
On if he agrees/disagrees with that protest method:
I think to each his own, and I think it depends on the person’s life experience, and what they value and how strongly they feel about it. I don’t think instant condemnation of any sort of act should happen until it’s thought out. For instance, with Kaepernick, a pretty good group of people immediately thought he was disrespecting the military. It had nothing to do with his protest. In fact, he was able to do what he did because of what the military does for us. But, most thinking people understand that, but there’s always gonna be an element that wants to jump on a bandwagon and that’s what’s unfortunate about our country. It’s gotten to the point where the civility and the level of discourse is basically in the gutter.