Politics

NBA Spurs coach Gregg Popovich denounces Texas lawmakers over inaction on guns

During an appearance at a gathering in Texas, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich went after Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas lawmakers over the state’s response to recent mass shootings in the state.

“It’s always a good idea to speak truth to power because people in power want to keep that power, and they’ll do anything they can to keep it. And we’ve learned that here in Texas,” Popovich said. “I know we’ve heard all the comments on television from some of our elected officials about thoughts and prayers, and condolences, and on and on and to the same statements after every massacre. Exactly the same, and it never changes, and more children, teachers and civilians are dead.

Popovich noted that some of the deadliest shootings in American history have happened in Texas and slammed lawmakers for still not changing the state’s laws to make it harder for potential shooters to get firearms. “Texas is actually the place where five of the worst massacres in U.S. history have taken place. And nothing has changed,” he said.

Popovich recalled that when Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) confronted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) at a press conference following the Uvalde shooting over inaction on guns, the officials speaking yelled that O’Rourke was “out of line.”

Popovich argued that Abbott and the other officials were the ones who were “out of line,” because they have not acted following mass shootings.

He said lawmakers such as Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have deflected from the issue of firearm access with arguments that mental illness is to blame for gun violence. But he pointed to how Abbott significantly cut state funding for the department overseeing Texas’s mental health services in April as evidence of hypocrisy.

“It’s like a deflection because they think we’re stupid, so they’ll keep bringing it up and bringing it up,” Popovich said. “But they’ll listen to us if we’re angry enough and if we’re committed enough.”

Popovich’s comments come after a press conference from Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, in which Kerr condemned congressional inaction on gun legislation, gained national attention.

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: SAN ANTONIO REPORT

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