Is there ever a time Gregg Popovich isn't woke?
The San Antonio Spurs head coach has always had a reputation for speaking his mind when it comes to politics. When asked about the league promoting Black History Month, Popovich gave a typically candid, eloquent response.
"I think it's pretty obvious," Popovich said, according to ESPN's Michael Wright. "The league is made up of a lot of black guys. To honor (BHM) and understand it is pretty simplistic. How would you ignore that? But more importantly, we live in a racist country that hasn't figured it out yet. And it's always important to bring attention to it, even if it angers some people. The point is that you have to keep it in front of everybody's nose so that they understand it, that it still hasn't been taken care of, and we have a lot of work to do."
Popovich has been open and at times angry when discussing the current state of cultural affairs in America, especially after the election of President Donald Trump. The five-time NBA champion coach went in-depth on the importance of celebrating the success of African-Americans and recognizing their continued struggles today.
"More than anything, I think if people take the time to think about it, I think it is our national sin," Popovich added. "It always intrigues me when people come out with, 'I'm tired of talking about that,' or 'Do we have to talk about race again?'
"And the answer is you're damned right we do. Because it's always there, and it's systemic in the sense that when you talk about opportunity, it's not about, 'Well, if you lace up your shoes and you work hard, then you can have the American dream.'
"That's a bunch of hogwash. If you were born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage educationally, economically, culturally in this society. And all the systemic roadblocks that exist, whether it's in a judicial sense, a neighborhood sense with laws, zoning, education - we have huge problems in that regard that are very complicated but take leadership, time, and real concern to try to solve. It's a tough one because people don't really want to face it. And it's in our national discourse."