Gregg Popovich Appears to Respond to Donald Trump's 'Least Racist Person' Remark

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2018

San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich in a action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich appeared to once again criticize Donald Trump on Monday, alluding to comments the sitting President made claiming to be the "least racist person you will ever interview" when speaking to reporters Sunday. 

"Every time I hear somebody say they're not a racist, you know they are," Popovich told reporters during a pregame discussion of race and societal issues before the Spurs' Martin Luther King Jr. Day game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Popovich has been a consistent critic of Trump since he took office. In a statement given to Dave Zirin of The Nation in October, the Spurs coach called Trump a "soulless coward" and criticized the "disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.” 

"We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day," he said.

"The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all."

Trump's claim he is not a racist came days after he reportedly called Haiti and African nations "s--thole countries" when discussing their citizens immigrating to the United States. The remarks have been roundly criticized, with many using them as evidence Trump is racist. 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver called the remarks "discouraging" on Monday. Silver was responding in part to comments Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, who is Nigerian, made Friday.

"I certainly understand how upset [Ujiri] is as an immigrant to this country and Canada," Silver told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "I think for him, someone who does so much in his daily life to improve the life of Africans through his personal foundation, through our Basketball Without Borders program, it is discouraging. But Masai will not in any way be deterred from the work he is doing just as the league won't be."


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