SAN ANTONIO — Gregg Popovich made his anger clear on Monday after police in Minnesota shot and killed Daunte Wright, an unarmed Black man, during a traffic stop.
"It just makes you sick to your stomach," Popovich said. "How many times does it have to happen? And as sick to our stomachs as we might feel, that individual is dead. He's dead and his family is grieving, and his friends are grieving, and we just keep moving on as if nothing's happening."
Spurs and Magic players linked arms in a demonstration before the game in Orlando Monday night, and professional sporting events in Minnesota were postponed.
Popovich compared the feelings caused by police brutality against Black people to those caused by school shootings.
"It's the same thing, it goes on and on, and everybody says, 'well when's it gonna be enough?' Of course I don't have those answers, but the people who continually fight to maintain that status quo are not good people," the Air Force Academy graduate said before singling out Governor Greg Abbott.
"I have mentioned our governor in Texas, Governor Abbott. It's deplorable, it's almost impossible to listen to this man speak."
Popovich called Abbott a liar over his recent comments on the winter storm, gun control, and election integrity, saying that he tied himself to former president Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican party.
"He's a bad, bad person," Popovich said. "He's either ignorant or purposely destructive, because he knows that wasn't true."
"It's childish, it's sickening, it's dangerous," he said. "Do these people want a country or not? Do these people have grandchildren? Do they want their grandchildren to go to school, and go through these drills, and worry about being murdered?"
"What does it take to care more about them than your frickin' power, and your position, and your donors? With policing it's the same damn way. How many black kids have to be killed for no frickin' reason, how many? So we can empower the police unions," Pop said, visibly angry.
"We need to find out who funds these people. I want to know what owners in the NBA fund these people who perpetrate these lies. Maybe that's a good place to start, so it's all transparent," he said.
According to a report from The Ringer in 2020, over 80% of political donations by NBA owners not named Steve Ballmer go to Republicans. That report showed that Holt family, which owns the Spurs, had donated over a million dollars to Republicans since 2015, fourth most on the list.
On Wednesday afternoon, Popovich was asked how he felt about members of the Spurs' ownership group making contributions to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and other Republican lawmakers.
"I don't think you need to single out anybody," Popovich said. "In general I think one has to question why one would give money to people who participated in that sort of a lie, whether it's people in Texas or any other place. How did they enjoy January 6? How do we enjoy the rise of extremism that we're seeing? And to have politicians who divert attention, or out-and-out lie about it, seems to me to be unbelievably dangerous. We're talking about our country, our democracy, and these politicians were all basically attacked, but still ignore it, and we all know why, we don't have to go into that."
"I think one must ask why? What purpose does that do, to keep people in office that are willing to out-and-out lie about things they know are untrue and dangerous for our society. It just boggles my mind," he said.
When asked if anybody from ownership has asked him to tone down his political commentary, Popovich said that wasn't the case.
"The Holt family and our ownership group has been absolutely 100% perfect in not putting on any pressure or doing anything that would keep any of us from expressing our ideas. They've been absolutely magnificent in that regard."