Spurs’ Gregg Popovich on standing for nationwide anthem: ‘I reacted the best way I needed to’

Gregg Popovich has been outspoken through the years in his advocacy for racial justice and equality in America, however the Spurs coach was reticent Friday night time about why he stood for the nationwide anthem slightly than take a knee with members of his crew and the Kings.

“I would desire to maintain that to myself,” he instructed reporters after San Antonio’s 129-120 victory over Sacramento. “All people has to make a private determination.”

MORE: Charles Barkley explains his help for many who do not kneel 

Popovich stated that the NBA has been “nice” about permitting folks to determine whether or not to face or to kneel as a present of protest in opposition to police brutality and racial injustice.

“All people has the liberty to react any manner they need,” he stated. “For no matter causes I’ve, I reacted the best way I needed to.”

Right here’s Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on why he determined to face through the nationwide anthem. Please don’t get it twisted. He’s BEEN talking out about systemic racism & social justice for so long as I can keep in mind: pic.twitter.com/qGMbxwp4DC

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

Spurs assistant Becky Hammon additionally stood for the anthem.

Popovich, 71 and a graduate of the Air Pressure Academy, has an extended historical past of publicly standing with the Black neighborhood, and that has earned him goodwill inside his crew and the NBA neighborhood. Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan supported Popovich and Hammon’s actions. 

“Pop speaks up,” DeRozan stated. “In the case of Becky, she has been frontline about equality.”

DeMar DeRozan expresses help for Pop and Becky Hammon standing through the nationwide anthem, saying principally that they’ve been strolling the stroll: pic.twitter.com/Lh6fIAjvTI

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

Amongst his many statements, Popovich not too long ago stated George Floyd’s loss of life final Could on the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis was a “lynching.” He stated final 12 months that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who launched the kneeling protest to the sports activities world, will probably be celebrated like Muhammad Ali sooner or later.

Earlier on Friday, Magic ahead Jonathan Isaac additionally stood for the anthem and declined to put on the “Black Lives Matter” warmup T-shirt that everybody else on the sideline was carrying.

“I consider that Black lives matter,” Isaac, who’s Black, stated. “Kneeling whereas carrying a Black Lives Matter T-shirt does not go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives.”

NBA guidelines prohibit kneeling for the anthem, however commissioner Adam Silver stated Thursday that the rule wouldn’t be enforced through the “distinctive second in historical past” that the NBA is going through because it resumes play amid the protests and COVID-19.

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