Spurs’ Gregg Popovich on standing for national anthem: ‘I reacted the way I wanted to’

Gregg Popovich has been outspoken above the a long time in his advocacy for racial justice and equality in America, but the Spurs coach was reticent Friday night time about why he stood for the countrywide anthem fairly than just take a knee with customers of his workforce and the Kings.

“I would prefer to retain that to myself,” he explained to reporters after San Antonio’s 129-one hundred twenty victory above Sacramento. “Everybody has to make a personal choice.”

Far more: Charles Barkley clarifies his guidance for those who do not kneel 

Popovich stated that the NBA has been “excellent” about making it possible for people to make a decision whether or not to stand or to kneel as a clearly show of protest versus police brutality and racial injustice.

“Everybody has the liberty to react any way they want,” he stated. “For whichever motives I have, I reacted the way I preferred to.”

Spurs assistant Becky Hammon also stood for the anthem.

Popovich, 71 and a graduate of the Air Force Academy, has a extended historical past of publicly standing with the Black community, and that has attained him goodwill in his workforce and the NBA community. Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan supported Popovich and Hammon’s actions. 

“Pop speaks up,” DeRozan stated. “When it will come to Becky, she has been frontline about equality.”

Among the his numerous statements, Popovich lately stated George Floyd’s dying very last May at the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis was a “lynching.” He stated very last calendar year that previous NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who released the kneeling protest to the sports planet, will be celebrated like Muhammad Ali in the long run.

Before on Friday, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac also stood for the anthem and declined to put on the “Black Life Matter” warmup T-shirt that all people else on the sideline was carrying.

“I imagine that Black lives matter,” Isaac, who is Black, stated. “Kneeling though carrying a Black Life Matter T-shirt doesn’t go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives.”

NBA principles prohibit kneeling for the anthem, but commissioner Adam Silver stated Thursday that the rule would not be enforced through the “one of a kind instant in historical past” that the NBA is facing as it resumes enjoy amid the protests and COVID-19.