Last Friday, after President Biden issued two proclamations, one which honored Columbus Day but cited “the painful history of wrongs and atrocities that many European explorers inflicted on Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities” and another that celebrated the day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the NBA San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich, who spent the years of the Trump presidency attacking President Trump, lauded Biden while attacking those who celebrated Columbus Day, snapping that Italian-Americans honoring Columbus was akin to saying, “We should be proud of Hitler because we are German.”
At a pre-game session before the Spurs-Heat preseason game, Popovich proclaimed of Biden’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation, “The proclamation was obviously appropriate, important, needed, and all those sorts of things but I’m a little confused about our city and why it’s Indigenous People’s Day ‘slash’ Columbus Day. Columbus?”
“He initiated a New World genocide,” he continued. “That’s what he did. Beginning with him and what he set in motion what followed, the annihilation of every Indigenous person in Hispaniola, which was Haiti and the Dominican Republic today. That’s what he did. He took slaves. He mutilated. He murdered. And we’re gonna say ‘slash’ and honor him?”
“I gotta give the San Antonio Independent School District a little bit of credit because at least they added Indigenous Peoples’ Day along with it and that’s a step in the right direction,” Popovich pontificated. “But what the hell is Alamo Heights thinking? It’s Columbus Day, that’s why they’re off on Monday? Maybe there is something I am missing, and I am ignorant. But it makes me feel like they’re living in a phone booth. And they are educating our kids?”
“Columbus Day? And we’re gonna honor that?” he asked rhetorically. “It’s no knock on Italian Americans. That’s a silly argument. It’s like saying, ‘We should be proud of Hitler because we are German.’ It makes no sense. It’s about Columbus. It’s not about Italian-Americans. And so, there are a lot of states that have come out and scratched Columbus Day and made it Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But in our city, are we that backward that we have school districts that do that? I am amazed. Just amazed.”
— JeffGSpursKENS5 (@JeffGSpursZone) October 9, 2021
In August 2020, sports journalist Jason Whitlock slammed Popovich for promoting the false “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative about Michael Brown.
Writing at Outkick the Coverage, Whitlock stated bluntly, “Popovich is not dumb. He’s intentionally promoting racial animus.” Whitlock wrote, “I know no longer pretend Michael Brown was an innocent victim of police brutality. The facts do not support that bogus narrative. These facts were made public more than four years ago.”
“So why did San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich spend three minutes Sunday promoting a Michael Brown narrative debunked by a black president, a black attorney general and colorblind facts?” Whitlock asked, adding, “Has someone or some organization asked Popovich to irresponsibly spew racial conspiracy theories? Racial unrest and violence have rocked this country for two months. Why would Popovich agitate an already tense situation with lies?”
The day after Trump’s inauguration Popovich stated, “I’d just feel better if somebody was in that position that showed the maturity and psychological and emotional level of somebody that was his age. It’s dangerous and it doesn’t do us any good.”
In May 2017, Popovich doubled down, saying:
But to this day I feel like there’s a dark cloud, a pall over the whole country. It’s got nothing to do with the Democrats losing the election. It’s got to do with the way one individual conducts himself. And that’s embarrassing. It’s dangerous to our institutions, and what we all stand for and what we expect the country to be. But for this individual, he’s in a game show. And everything that happens begins and ends with him. Not our people or our country; every time he talks about those things, it’s just a ruse. That’s just disingenuous, cynical and fake.
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