The San Antonio Spurs, under the guidance of Gregg Popovich, are more than just a championship basketball team. They’re also students — of current events, of history, of sociology — so that they can master not only the game they get paid millions of dollars to play, but master being productive, contributing members of a civil society.
Popovich holds the second goal in as high an esteem as the first because not only does he believe he would get “bored” simply coaching basketball, but because he thinks it is of the utmost importance, especially in today’s era.
During the 2016 election, Popovich was widely quoted after he shared a statement that may even have seemed outrageous at the time, but now seems rather prescient:
I worry that maybe I’m being a little too pessimistic, but I’m beginning to have a harder time believing that we are not Rome. Rome didn’t fall in 20 days or 30 years. It took a couple hundred years. The question is: Are we in that process and we don’t even know it?”
But it was Monday, when Popovich was asked about the importance of Black History Month and why it’s imperative that the NBA promote awareness of it, when the coach’s comments really hit home:
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on why it’s important for the NBA to promote Black History Month: “We live in a racist country… And it’s always important to bring attention to it, even if it angers some people.” pic.twitter.com/RCCs7rSJix
— ABC News (@ABC) February 13, 2018
What Popovich says here, it seems, is still only being whispered in many parts of America.
We live in a racist country… And it’s always important to bring attention to it, even if it angers some people.”
It is well past time that we stop pretending he’s not absolutely correct, and begin doing something about it.
Featured image via Jason Miller/Getty Images