Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says whites must speak out against racism “whatever the consequences”


San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said “country is in trouble” and “embarrassed as a white person” to know that George Floyd could die as horrible as a policeman with a knee on Floyd’s neck did his job in a “nonchalant … casual” manner.”In a strange and counterintuitive way, the best moment of teaching about this recent tragedy, I think, was the look at the officer,” said Popovich in an emotional video posted by the Spurs as part of their #SpursVoices series on social networks. media. “So that white people can see how nonchalant, how relaxed they are, how daily their work is, so much so that he could just put his left hand in his pocket, wiggle his knee a little to teach that person some sort of lesson – and that it was his right and his duty to do so, in his mind.

” I do not know. … I think I’m just embarrassed as a white person to know that this can happen. In fact, watch a lynching. We’ve all seen books, and you look in the books and you see black people hanging from the trees. And you … you are amazed. But we just saw it again. I never thought I would see it with my own eyes in real time. ”

Floyd, who is black, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin faces charges of second degree murder and manslaughter, while three other police officers have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and manslaughter.

“It’s like the neighborhood where you know there is a dangerous corner, and you know something is going to happen someday, and no one is doing anything about it,” said Popovich. “And then a young child is killed and a stop sign goes up. Well, without getting too political, we have a lot of stop signs that have to go up – quickly – because our country is in trouble. And the fundamental reason is race. ”

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Popovich, 71, said it was up to white people to step up – “whatever the consequences” – and help lead the charge of change.

” We need to. Black people have been carrying this burden for 400 years, “said Popovich. “The only reason this nation has made the progress it has is because of the persistence, patience and effort of black people. The history of our nation from the very beginning in many ways was a lie, and we continue to this day, mostly blacks and brown people, to try to make this lie a truth so that it is no longer a lie. And these rights and privileges are granted to people of color, just as we enjoy them. So it must be us, in my opinion, who speak the truth to power and call it, whatever the consequences. We have to talk. We must not let anything go. ”

Popovich compared the current crisis in our country to that of armed violence.

“It’s just a situation that looks very much like me,” he said. “… what is it going to take?” Two other black people with knees in their necks? I do not think so. I don’t think it will happen. How many Sandy Hooks do we still have? It’s easy for people to let things go because it doesn’t involve them. “


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