- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich questioned the purpose of the 2nd Amendment, the Constitution’s guarantee of the right to bear arms.

Popovich, an increasingly vocal critic of President Trump, compared the discussion around stopping gun violence, such as raising the age limit to purchase firearms, to “Band-aids.”

“The obvious elephant in the room is the guns — weapons of war. The magazines,” Popovich said. “The real discussion should be about the 2nd Amendment. Is it useful? Does it serve its purpose the way it was supposed to in the beginning? That discussion should be had. Is one life more important than some congressman keeping his position because he’s afraid he won’t get funds from the NRA?”

Popovich spoke for slightly more than 10 minutes, with around half of the questions centered around politics. The 69-year-old Spurs coach has routinely weighed in on political topics since the 2016 election.

Popovich blasted Trump and lawmakers for lack of action following last month’s mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 were killed.

“We have a president who sat across a table in a fake environment of goodwill to talk about gun violence, just like the immigration facade where he’d sign anything, and of course he didn’t do anything,” Popovich said. “He actually leaned across the table and told two senators that they were afraid of the NRA. He said that. He just leaned across the table and told them, and laughed about it. Then had lunch with the NRA himself and went back on everything he wanted to do.”

The comments come two days after Popovich criticized Trump for not attending Saturday’s March for Our Lives Rally, in which thousands of protesters demanded action over gun violence.

On Tuesday, Popovich said the high school activists who organized the march give him hope “in the country that I thought I was living in.”

Popovich, himself, has faced some backlash for being outspoken. He said he understands that some people prefer he just stick to coaching, but added that the issues he’s addressing are too important to ignore. Popovich said he tries to engage with those who send him letters, both positive and negative.

As a team, the Spurs visited the Supreme Court Monday. Popovich said he wants his team to “be exposed” to what’s going on outside of basketball.

Popovich said Trump brings out the “dark side” of human beings.

“If it’s not pointed out, if people don’t stand up and point it out, he will become commonplace, and it’s not the world that I want to live in,” he said.


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