Gregg Popovich Calls on White People to End Racism After Death of George Floyd

The five-time NBA champion coach spoke about systemic racism in a video statement

Popovich George Floyd
Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs watches the scoreboard during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 08, 2020.
Jason Miller/Getty Images

As more sports figures speak out about the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests that erupted around the United States, San Antonio Spurs head coach followed up his comments about President Trump with a video statement that addressed systemic racism and white people’s role in ending it. Popovich said in the video, which was released Saturday, that he was “embarrassed” to be a white person to watch what he called the lynching of Floyd by officer Derek Chauvin.

Specifically, Popovich called out the look on Chauvin’s face while he had his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, calling it a “teaching moment” to see how he was so calm and casual while ending a man’s life, if only because he believed it was his duty to do so.

Popovich also says that it’s not up to black people to shoulder the burden of ending racism; that lies on white people, who he says must do more to stop the injustices:

So it’s got to be us, in my opinion, that speak truth to power, and call it out, no matter what the consequences. We have to speak. We have to not let anything go.

The 71-year-old coaching legend has always been outspoken about social issues, and is one of Trump’s highest-profile critics in the sports world. To see him soberly address the role of white people in the systemic racism and police brutality in this country is not surprising, but it is enlightening to see him state so soberly who the blame falls on.

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Read the full story at The Guardian

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