- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says the United States has become an “embarrassment to the world” under President Trump.

Mr. Popovich, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, made the comments Monday during a press conference after the president repeatedly attacked NFL players for protesting the national anthem and called for them to be fired.

“Our country is an embarrassment to the world,” Mr. Popovich said during the press conference. “This is an individual who actually thought that when people held arms during the games, that they were doing it to honor the flag. That’s delusional. Absolutely delusional. But it’s what we have to live with.”

More than 200 NFL players sat, knelt or locked arms during the national anthem before Sunday’s games in solidarity against Mr. Trump’s criticism of the protests. The president tweeted approval of the locked arms demonstrations while saying kneeling was “unacceptable.”

Mr. Popovich continued Monday, “We do live in a difficult time. We all know why [and] where the source is, where a lot of the division comes from. To dwell on that is the wrong way to go. [It’s] so obvious now, it is boring. The childishness, the gratuitous fear-mongering and race baiting has been so consistent. It’s almost expected.

“We know the racism that exists. It has gone beyond that to the point where I’m more worried and confused by the people around the president,” he said, ESPN reported. “These are intelligent people who know exactly what is going on, who were basically very negative about his actions. But now it’s condoned.”

Mr. Popovich also questioned the “morality and decency” of Mr. Trump’s supporters.

“I understand very well, they didn’t like their choice economically. A lot of people had a problem,” he said. “[Mr. Trump] was the right guy at the right time to tap into that mood. People overlooked one hell of a lot to pull that trigger in that direction. They wanted change, they felt ignored. But at what price? One wonders what is in their heads.”

Just days after Mr. Trump was elected, Mr. Popovich said the outcome made him “sick” to his stomach. In May, he said the president’s win cast “a pall” over the entire country.

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