Spurs’ Gregg Popovich on standing for national anthem: ‘I reacted the way I wanted to’

  • Sports
  • Spurs’ Gregg Popovich on standing for national anthem: ‘I reacted the way I wanted to’

Gregg Popovich has been outspoken over the years in his advocacy for racial justice and equality in America, but the Spurs coach was reticent Friday night about why he stood for the national anthem rather than take a knee with members of his team and the Kings.

“I’d prefer to keep that to myself,” he told reporters after San Antonio’s 129-120 victory over Sacramento. “Everybody has to make a personal decision.”

MORE: Charles Barkley explains his support for those who don’t kneel 

Popovich said that the NBA has been “great” about allowing people to decide whether to stand or to kneel as a show of protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

“Everybody has the freedom to react any way they want,” he said. “For whatever reasons I have, I reacted the way I wanted to.”

Here’s Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on why he decided to stand during the national anthem. Please don’t get it twisted. He’s BEEN speaking out about systemic racism & social justice for as long as I can remember: pic.twitter.com/qGMbxwp4DC

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) August 1, 2020

Spurs assistant Becky Hammon also stood for the anthem.

Popovich, 71 and a graduate of the Air Force Academy, has a long history of publicly standing with the Black community, and that has earned him goodwill within his team and the NBA community. Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan supported Popovich and Hammon’s actions. 

“Pop speaks up,” DeRozan said. “When it comes to Becky, she has been frontline about equality.”

DeMar DeRozan expresses support for Pop and Becky Hammon standing during the national anthem, saying basically that they’ve been walking the walk: pic.twitter.com/Lh6fIAjvTI

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) August 1, 2020

Among his many statements, Popovich recently said George Floyd’s death last May at the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis was a “lynching.” He said last year that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who introduced the kneeling protest to the sports world, will be celebrated like Muhammad Ali in the future.

Earlier on Friday, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac also stood for the anthem and declined to wear the “Black Lives Matter” warmup T-shirt that everyone else on the sideline was wearing.

“I believe that Black lives matter,” Isaac, who is Black, said. “Kneeling while wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt doesn’t go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives.”

NBA rules prohibit kneeling for the anthem, but commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday that the rule would not be enforced during the “unique moment in history” that the NBA is facing as it resumes play amid the protests and COVID-19.

Did you like this article? You can read it and many others @ Sporting News.com!

FRESHEST

Here's the latest news

Photography by Getty Images The 'Schitt’s Creek' star reflected on how experimenting with fashion has empowered him, adding, “there is no more exciting a time for menswear than right now.” By Natalie Michie Date June 23, 2021 Canadian actor and...

Dan Levy Paris Fashion Week: 'Schitt's Creek' Star Opens Men's Week

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on Wednesday formally endorsed changes to the way the military handles sexual assault cases, becoming the first secretary to do so, and told lawmakers he would recommend the revisions to President Biden. The changes,...

Austin Endorses Changes to Way Military Handles Sexual Assault

GitHub is rolling out new features for the most-used online code repository on the market. Jack Wallen has the details. Image: Shutterstock/roman-Samborskyi GitHub is one of the largest online code repositories in the world. Currently, over 65 million developers are...

GitHub is set to better empower collaboration with Issues and Projects

Say it ain't so, Joe. Max Scherzer was checked for sticky stuff three times on Tuesday night, the second day of MLB's sweeping enforcement of its new policy against pitchers using Performance Enhancing Sticky Stuff (PESS [we just made that up])....

Phillies manager Joe Girardi explains decision to have Max Scherzer checked for sticky stuff

Would Tiffany Haddish Play Pickup Soccer With U.S. Women's Team?These women are aiming for the goal—and the gold.  The 2020 U.S. Olympic soccer team was officially named by head coach Vlatko Andonovski on Wednesday, June 23 and we can promise you'll recognize...

Meet the Stars of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team
Load More
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap