San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich used the occasion of Saturday’s March for Our Lives, which took place across the country, to praise the kids involved and to lash out at one of his frequent targets, President Trump.
“There’s not one event that’s going to signal what it’s going to be like in the future, but I can tell you that I’m sure most everybody’s got to be unbelievably proud and excited about those students and what they’ve done because our politicians have certainly sat on their thumbs and just hidden,” he said.
For Popovich, who spoke before the Spurs’ game Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee, there was a history lesson and a flashback.
“You think about it, the civil rights movement didn’t really flip and change until people saw things on TV. You know, they saw policemen with fire hoses and dogs biting old black men and women, people being beaten with sticks. And then you get to the Vietnam War and we’re in it forever and blah blah and blah, and then what happens? Film starts coming back with arms and legs blown off and coffins. I can still remember the little girl that was napalmed running down the road. Things change when that happens.”
Although nothing changed after Columbine or Sandy Hook or Las Vegas or any other shooting, the sheer number of protesters created an indelible image.
“Images are important. Obviously, you can’t put an image on TV of what happened in that classroom,” he said. “That would be pretty horrifying, but if you just sit for a moment and imagine those bullets going through those bodies and what those bodies might have looked like afterward, how can the president of your country talk about all of the things he’s going to do and then go have lunch with the NRA and change it?
“It’s just cowardice. A real leader would have been in Washington, D.C., this weekend, not at his penthouse at Mar-a-Lago. He would have had the decency to meet with a group to see what’s going on and how important it is. And how important our children should be to us.
” … The real discussion is: What kind of a country, what kind of a culture do we want?”