DeMar DeRozan Defends Spurs Coaches For Standing During Anthem
It is almost like whether you kneel or stand during the playing of the national anthem is a barometer of how good of a human being a person is.
On Friday, both San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and assistant Becky Hammon remained standing during the anthem prior to the team’s first game of the restart. Popovich and Hammon both wore “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts despite standing for the anthem.
“I’d prefer to keep that to myself,” said Popovich following the game. “Everybody has to make a personal decision. The league’s been great about that; everybody has the freedom to react any way they want. For whatever reasons I have, I reacted the way I wanted to.”
Prior to joining the NBA, Popovich was a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan spoke out in defense of his coaches.
“With Pop and Becky standing, I have no thoughts [contrary to] belief in them that is all out of genuine, out of a positive side of their heart,” DeRozan said. “Same way we kneel. Don’t take away nothing from those guys.
“You know Pop speaks out. When it comes to Becky, she’s been [on the] front line, fighting for equality since I’ve been a fan of hers playing in the WNBA. So everybody has their own right of making a statement and you can’t vilify nobody for not doing what the other group is doing. I’m all for it.”
Nevertheless, Popovich has been very firm in his position supporting social reform and anti-racism.
“Considering what’s going on in our country with race, it’s always been our national sin and it’s always been something that has never been faced as well as it should have been,” Popovich said on Friday afternoon. “And with the events that we’ve all witnessed in this last year, it’s just logical and wise to keep that momentum going … because it is a national embarrassment. It keeps us from being the country that we should be or the country that was promised to everyone.
“And nothing could be more poignant than to have all of the teams here all committed to making statements and letting it be known that this has got to change and not just a little bit.”