Instead of discussing his potential retirement this offseason, the NBA’s all-time wins leader Gregg Popovich instead went on an unprovoked speech about the necessity for gun control, while calling politicians who do not support further restrictions on firearms “cowardly legislators who are selfish.”
Gun control rants from Popovich are nothing new. In this latest he took the opportunity towards the end of his media session prior to the game against the Dallas Mavericks to ask whether or not anyone in the room was conceal carrying a gun.
“I just wondered because we have a governor and lieutenant governor and an attorney general that made it easier to have more guns,” said Popovich. “That was a response to our kids getting murdered. I just thought that was a little but strange decision. It’s just me, though.”
From there, Popovich went on a nearly ten minute long speech, chastising Republican lawmakers in Texas and in Congress. During so, he went on to praise the three Tennessee Democrats who attempted an insurrection at the Tennessee capitol, storming past law enforcement and entering the chamber while interrupting a session with loudspeakers in order to push their gun control agenda following the shooting at a Christian school in Nashville.
“Well, since you asked, what would it take to budge those people? What would it take?” he asked. “I mean, we’ve got two young black guys in Tennessee who just got railroaded by a bunch of people that I would bet down deep in their soul want to go back to Jim Crow,” Popovich said referring to representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, who were expelled last week from Tennessee’s legislature. “And what they just did is a good start. It’s beyond comprehension. And what were they guilty of? They actually protested?”
“Those [Tennessee Republican] legislators called those kids that were protesting insurrectionists. That’s hard to believe in America. But American ain’t what we thought America was. It’s changed. So if those kids are insurrectionists, what were the people on January 6th? What do we call them? What’s the next step or word or level of violence after insurrectionists? I don’t know what it is. What will it take?”
From there, Popovich directed his focus to Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn’s statement following the recent shooting.
“I mean, I couldn’t believe it, so I wrote this thing down,” he continued, “But Senator Marsha Blackburn, her comment after was, after the massacre, ‘My office is in contact with federal, state and local officials and we stand ready to assist.’ In what?! They’re dead! What are you going to assist with — cleaning up their brains off the wall, wiping the blood off the schoolroom floor? What are you going to assist with?”
“And then there’s Governor Lee. I’m sorry to go on and on, but Bill Lee: ‘I’m closely monitoring the tragic situation. Please join us in prayer.’ What are you monitoring? They’re dead! Children — they’re dead. When I pick up my 6 and 11-year-old grandkids at school, when I’m here at home, on the way it goes through my mind that I hope they’re going to be OK.”
Next, the coach attacked the Second Amendment, describing it as a “myth.”
He said, “They’re going to cloak all this stuff, the myth of the second amendment, the freedom. It’s just a myth. It’s a joke. It’s just a game they play. I mean that’s freedom. Is it freedom for kids to go to school and try to socialize, and try to learn, and be scared to death they might die that day?”
“Well, Ted Cruz will fix it because he’s going to double the number of cops in the schools. That’s what he wants to do. Well, that will create a great environment. Is that freedom? Or is it freedom to have a congressman who can make a postcard with all his family holding rifles including AR-15 or whatever. Is that cool? Is that like street cred for Republican? That’s freedom? That’s more important than protecting the kids? I don’t get it,” Popovich went on.
He then moved on to target the “gun lobby” saying, “You know, the greed of the gun lobbies and the manufacturers is obvious. We all know that. Money talks.”
He then quickly returned to his political opponents, “But the cowardice and the selfishness of the legislators who are so scared to death of being primaried and losing their job, losing their power, losing their salary — you’d like to get each one of them in a room just one by one and say, ‘What’s more important to you? If you could vote for some good gun safety laws that most of the public agrees to, would you do that if it saved one kid? Or is your job and your money so important to you that you would say, screw the kid? What’s, what’s in your mind?”
After equating school shootings to the Vietnam War and even the death of George Floyd he questioned, “So what will it take? Do we have to show it? Do we have to show that classroom?”
“That’s a pretty big step, right? That’s just gross to think about,” he said. “But do we need to show it, like the girl running with napalm on her back? So they actually see that these parents couldn’t even tell if it was their kid, they had to go the DNA route. Will that wake up Josh Hawley, so he won’t be running like this to whatever they were, insurrectionists? I don’t know what the next word would be.”
“You know, these people, they think we’re stupid — Republicans and Democrats alike. But they might be right because they get away with crap. They tell us things about prayers and you know, their offices are monitoring this stuff, like I said. Get away from me. Stop all the bull****. Stop talking down to us. We’re not stupid, but they will do it to keep their jobs.”
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