San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, long one of the sporting world’s most vocal critics of President Donald Trump, sparked a searing tirade against Trump on Thursday, a day after supporters of the president took to assault the US Capitol.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Popovich spoke at length about the deadly riot in DC, blaming Trump entirely for fueling the vitriolic that led to the attack and calling upon his dismissal.
Popovich also criticized Vice President Mike Pence and Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Lindsey Graham for allowing Trump throughout his four years in office. Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press posted a meaty transcript of Popovich’s response:
“He is incapable. He’s incompetent, ”Popovich said of Trump. “He is unable to care. And it’s sad because he’s a deranged individual, really imperfect, but he’s also dangerous. That’s why I don’t think it’s so far-fetched that people start talking about the 25th Amendment.
Popovich even speculated that Trump liked to watch the riot and questioned the Capitol Police’s lack of preparedness.
“I believe with all my heart that Trump appreciated this,” Popovich said. “And they talked about the police and how easy it was and the barriers were pulled and they just walked in. It doesn’t happen unless there’s a wink and a nod somewhere. It just doesn’t happen. This has never happened at a protest that anyone has ever attended.
Popovich’s speculation is supported by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who tweeted that White House officials were shaken by Trump’s “borderline enthusiastic” reaction to watching his supporters storm the Capitol.
During the attack, Trump tweeted requests for his supporters to remain peaceful, but also reaffirmed the belief that the election was stolen from him. Towards the end of the attack, he posted a video telling them to go home, but also sympathizing with them and calling them “very special”.
The attack left at least four dead and dozens of arrests, according to DC officials, as well as the resignation of Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.
“I am embarrassed to be an American and to see people see what they saw yesterday”, said Popovich, a US Air Force veteran. He then took part in a pre-game demonstration with players from the Spurs and Lakers, tying arms during the national anthem:
The riot scenes drew condemnation from across the NBA, both for the surreal nature of the Capitol being overtaken by violent insurgents and for the perceived double standard with how black protesters are treated compared to the extremely crowded crowd. white to DC
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