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“Our country has a problem”


© Unidad Editorial, S.A.
Popovich, along with Mitchell, during a 2019 World Cup match.

Gregg Popovich, a five-time NBA champion at the helm of the Spurs, never leaves anyone indifferent with his statements. The 71-year-old coach is one of the most respected voices in sports in a country threatened these days by the disturbing shadow of racism. “As a target, I feel ashamed” of the death of George Floydhe assured Saturday. The coach, who has led the Texas franchise since 1996, encouraged whites to step forward “regardless of the consequences” to help lead the change. “Our country has a problem and the main reason is racial. African Americans have supported this burden for 400 years,” said ‘Pop’, considered one of the best coaches in history, along with Phil Jackson or Auerbach Network“The most revealing moment of this tragedy was to contemplate the agent’s face,” he commented referring to Derek Chauvin, the white agent who choked Floyd after kneeling for more than eight minutes on his neck. “See how carefree he was, as if that were the most normal thing in his day to day, so much as to put his left hand in his pocket as to give that person a kind of lesson,” he added, scandalized.

“I never thought I’d see this”

Recall that after the May 25 events in Minneapolis, Chauvin faces an accusation of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, while three other police officers were charged with incitement to murder and involuntary manslaughter. “I feel ashamed as a target to know that this could happen. To see a lynching in reality. In the books we had seen black people hanging from the trees. But I never thought I would see it with my own eyes,” explains the third coach with more victories in NBA history, only behind Don nelson and Lenny Wilkens.Popovich, who in 2017 assumed the leadership of the American team, believes that the “only reason” why his country progressed was “because of the persistence, patience and effort of African-Americans.” After the departure of Mike Krzyzewski, the author of a record of 75 victories and one defeat, Team USA of ‘Pop’ could only finish in seventh place in the World Cup in China.

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