DALLAS — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he has received both positive and negative reactions from NBA fans around the country regarding his political commentary.
Still, Popovich, a graduate of the Air Force Academy who served five years in the military, said he tries to respond to most letters and acknowledged being heartened by some.
“I do read everything, and I try to respond,” he said. “It takes time because there’s a lot of letters. But the only ones I don’t respond to are the ones that are so courageous in their negativity that there’s no address, just comments. That’s hard to respond to. But there are people who have responded and disagreed, and say, ‘Why?’ And it’s erudite and intelligible. [And I’m like], ‘Yeah, you’ve got a point.’ Those people deserve to be written back. So, I try. I probably won’t get them all, but I try.”
Outspoken about the behavior of President Donald Trump since the 2016 campaign, Popovich also has expressed opinions on multiple occasions regarding social injustice and racism. In September, Popovich discussed Trump’s comments on sports and protests, calling “our country an embarrassment to the world.”
Then in October, Popovich called the president a “soulless coward” for lying about ex-presidents not calling the families of fallen soldiers.
Asked whether he has received negative backlash from fans regarding his political stances, Popovich said jokingly, “Oh, no, no, no. Every single person has agreed with everything I’ve said. I get flowers. I get trinkets and gifts.
“Just as you would expect: A little bit of both, right? A lot of both.”
“Some responses make you wonder what country you live in, and other responses make you very hopeful,” Popovich added. “But there’s a lot more hopeful than, ‘My gosh, how did this person come up with this?’ So overall, it renews my feeling that something can be done because there are enough people willing to listen and feel and compromise.”