In Cleveland for his team’s nationally televised game against the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich could not resist another opportunity to register his distaste for President Donald J. Trump, who was inaugurated in Washington, D.C. on Friday.
Asked during his pregame meeting with reporters what he thought about the Women’s March on Washington and similar protests in cities across the U.S. and the world, Popovich went on a harangue about the 45th president that lasted slightly more than four minutes.
Several reporters on the scene posted the interview session on Twitter. Here, via the posted videos, are Popovich’s remarks:
“The march today was great. The message is important. It could have been a whole lot of groups marching. Somebody said on TV, ‘What’s the message?’ The message is obvious. Our president comes in with the lowest rating of anybody who ever came into the office. There’s a majority of people out there, since Hillary won the popular vote, that don’t buy his act.
“I just wish he was more … had the ability to be mature … enough to do something that really is inclusive, rather than just talking and saying, ‘I’m going to include everyone.’ He could talk to the groups that he disrespected and maligned during the primary and really make somebody believe it. But so far, you’ve gotten to the point where you really can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth. You really can’t. All those thousands that were on the rooftops after 9/11? There were two. ‘We went to Hawaii and checked his birth certificate and my investigators couldn’t believe what they found. There wasn’t anything there. It’s over and over again.
“The CIA today, instead of honoring the 117 people behind him where he was speaking, he talked about the size of the crowd. That’s worrisome. That’s worrisome. I’d just feel better if someone was in that position that showed the maturity and psychological and emotional level of someone that was his age. It’s dangerous and it doesn’t do us any good.
“I hope he does a great job. But there’s a difference between respecting the office of the president and the person who occupies it. That respect has to be earned. It’s hard to be respectful of someone when we all have kids, and we’re watching him be misogynistic and xenophobic and racist and make fun of handicapped people.
“And what really bothers me are the people around him, the Sean Spicers, the Kellyanne Conways, the Reince Priebuses, who know who he is and actually have the cynical approach and disingenuous attitude to really defend him and make him look like he didn’t say what he said. When he’s mad at the media for them reporting what he said, it just boggles my mind. When Kellyanne Conway said the other day, he wasn’t really making fun of the handicapped person – It’s incredible. It really makes you wonder how far would someone go to actually cover for somebody that much. I think the comment was, ‘You have to look in his heart. You don’t know what’s in his heart. He wouldn’t do that.’ But, he did it.
“And all the things he said during that time … If our children would have said it, we would have grounded them for six months. Without a doubt. But we ignore all that, because … because why? That says something about all of us. And that’s what’s dangerous. That’s what scares the hell out of me to this day and makes me uneasy.
“But I felt great today watching the march, in protest to how he has conducted himself, because it tells me I really do live in a country where a lot of people care. We have to be vigilant, to be sure. Although we all hope he does good things for our country, that we don’t get embarrassed by him and roll back liberties that have been worked for so long in so many different areas.”
When a follow-up questioner asked Popovich if he was defending the media with his remarks, he continued his rant.
“Well I think you know when the media reports what he says, I’m not sure why he can get angry about that. But it does boggle the mind how somebody can be so thin-skinned. It’s all obvious, it’s about him. If anything affects him, if it’s Saturday Night Live or Hamilton, or ‘She got 3 million more votes than you.’ … ‘They’re illegal.’ It doesn’t matter what it is, there’s a pattern there. And that’s dangerous.
“I’d like to have someone with gravitas, but he got there through the electoral college, which is part of our system, and I hope he does some good things. I just … there was a young lady on today who said, ‘I just wished he had gone up there and said something like … I know I said certain things, or you know I would really like to bring the people who don’t feel, or I know some of you are scared.’ But he can’t do that because bullies don’t do that. That’s why.”