Dozens of cities across the U.S. have been engaging in demonstrations following George Floyd's death while in police custody May 25, and Popovich provided his thoughts on the long-term issues facing the U.S.:
"The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism, and we've seen it all before, but nothing changes. That's why these protests have been so explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever, because it's been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change."
The 71-year-old went on to criticize President Donald Trump for his lack of leadership at a time of crisis and his unwillingness to say "black lives matter," but he noted the problems go beyond one person.
"It's more than just Trump," he said. "The system has to change."
As for the current protests, Popovich said they are "very necessary, but they need to be organized better."
During a protest in San Antonio over the weekend, some people broke into and looted stores, smashed windows and threw eggs at a police car. Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV helped take part in the cleanup the next morning.