I posted a few videos and audios of the legendary basketball coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs who is known for being taciturn in interviews, but has been scathing of Trump. Alas, there is no audio of this new commentary from "Coach Pop," but the words are perhaps more outraged than any.
What happened is that Popovich called up longtime basketball writer Dave Zirin of The Nation. As Zirin writes here, the coach had heard Trump's comments trying to explain why he still hadn't yet even mentioned the four Green Berets killed in an ambush in Niger, nor yet contacted the soldier's families, and attempted to brush it off by contending that most others presidents didn't make such calls -- which was an out-and-out lie. And Popovich was incensed by this. Perhaps, Zirin speculates, it was because of it being a bald-faced lie. Or perhaps because of Popovich being an Air Force veteran -- and head coach Team USA for the Olympics. But whatever the resent, Zirin said that the coach clearly had to vent and explained, "I want to say something, and please just let me talk, and please make sure this is on the record.”
What Gregg Popovich said was --
“I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this president had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families are so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.”
(At this point, Zirin writes that Popovich paused, and the sportswriter thought that maybe Popovich actually meant it, that he didn't actually have the words. But then he took a breath and continued -- )
“This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner—and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers—is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”
And with that, Popovich just said, "Bye, Dave." And the phone call was over.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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