San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich used the final pregame press conference of the NBA season to call for stricter gun measures in the U.S. and slammed lawmakers in his speech.
Popovich spoke to the media before the team’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. The outspoken coach spoke for more than nine minutes, calling for tighter gun laws in the U.S. as well as addressing the Tennessee state lawmakers who voted for the expulsion of two state representatives.
He asked reporters whether any of them were carrying a gun.
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“I just wondered because we have a governor and lieutenant governor and an attorney general that made it easier to have more guns,” Popovich said, referring to Texas officials, according to ESPN. “That was a response to our kids getting murdered. I just thought that was a little bit strange decision. It’s just me, though.”
“Well, since you guys asked, what would it take to budge those people? What would it take?”
He then started on his essay about Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, the two Democrats who were expelled from the Tennessee legislature for their roles in a protest calling for gun control after the March 27 shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville, which killed six people, including three children.
“I mean, we’ve got two young Black guys in Tennessee who just got railroaded by a bunch of people that I would bet down deep in their soul want to go back to Jim Crow,” Popovich said. “And what they just did is a good start. It’s beyond comprehension. And what were they guilty of? They actually protested?”
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“Those [Tennessee Republican] legislators called those kids that were protesting insurrectionists. That’s hard to believe in America. But America ain’t what we thought America was. It’s changed. So, if those kids are insurrectionists, what were the people on Jan. 6th? What do we call them? What’s the next step or word or level of violence after insurrectionists? I don’t know what it is. What will it take?”
Popovich took issue with the responses to the Covenant School mass shooting in Tennessee from Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Gov. Bill Lee. Popovich cited Blackburn’s office by saying the senator was in contact with authorities responding to the shooting and Lee offering prayers and saying he was monitoring the situation.
He then likened the Second Amendment to a “myth.”
“But they’re going to cloak all this stuff [in] the myth of the Second Amendment, the freedom,” he added. “You know, it’s just a myth. It’s a joke. It’s just a game they play. I mean, that’s freedom. Is it freedom for kids to go to school and try to socialize and try to learn and be scared to death that they might die that day?”
“But Ted Cruz will fix it because he is going to double the number of cops in the schools. That’s what he wants to do. Well, that’ll create a great environment. Is that freedom? Or is it freedom to have a congressman who can make a postcard with all his family holding rifles, including an AR-15 or whatever. Is that cool? Is that like street cred for a Republican? That’s freedom? That’s more important than protecting kids? I don’t get it.”
Popovich added that it may take the gruesomeness of a school shooting to actually make things change.
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“You know, these people, they think we’re stupid – Republican and Democratic alike. But they might be right because they get away with that crap. They tell us things about prayers and, you know, their offices are monitoring this stuff, like I said. Get away from me. Stop all the bulls—. Stop talking down to us. We’re not stupid, but they will do it to keep their jobs,” he added.