The head coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team once said the United States is a racist country and that the American flag is “irrelevant.”
Gregg Popovich, who is also the head coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, has made a number of anti-American remarks over the past several years.
Chief among them was his 2018 assertion that “we live in a racist country.”
Popovich made the comment when asked why the NBA should celebrate Black History Month, according to CNN.
“I think it’s pretty obvious. Our league is made up of a lot of black guys,” he said.
“To honor that and understand it is pretty simplistic. How would you ignore that? More importantly, we live in a racist country that hasn’t figured it out yet.”
In 2020, the coach claimed that “the history of our nation from the very beginning was a lie.”
“The only reason this nation has made the progress it has is because of the persistence, patience and effort of black people. The history of our nation from the very beginning in many ways was a lie, and we continue to this day, mostly black and brown people, to try to make that lie a truth so that it is no longer a lie,” Popovich said, according to Sports Illustrated.
Popovich isn’t too fond of the American flag, either.
When asked about kneeling during the national anthem, he told The New York Times that “the flag is irrelevant.”
“It’s just a symbol that people glom onto for political reasons, just like Cheney back in the Iraq war,” he said.
Popovich’s team has underachieved at the Tokyo Olympics thus far.
Leading up to the Games, Team USA lost five of its last eight contests, according to USA Today.
Then, in its opening match at the Olympics, the American team was upset by France.
All this is despite having the most talented roster in the world by far.
Many have placed the blame for the team’s failures squarely at Popovich’s feet.
“If you want to know where to put the blame for Team USA’s 83-76 loss to France — America’s first Olympic men’s basketball loss in 6,176 days — look no further than the guy with five NBA titles who has been clueless from the very moment he was given the reins to USA Basketball,” columnist Dan Walken wrote in a USA Today Op-Ed.
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