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Popovich on Donald Trump’s win: “We are Rome”

NBA: Preseason-San Antonio Spurs at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

During the pregame press conference before the Pistons/Spurs game, Gregg Popovich spoke about his reaction to Donald Trump’s win on Tuesday. What follows is a full transcript.

I’m still trying to formulate thoughts. It’s too early, I’m still sick to my stomach. Not basically because the Republicans won or anything but the disgusting tenor and tone and all the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.

And I live in that country where half the people ignored all of that to elect someone. That’s the scariest part for me. It’s got nothing to do with the environment, Obamacare, and all the other stuff. We live in a country that ignored all of those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. They’d be grounded for years if they acted and said the things that have been said by Donald Trump in that campaign. I look at the evangelicals and wonder, ‘those values don’t mean anything to them?’

All those values to me are more important than anybody's skill in business or anything else because it tells who we are and how we want to live and what kind of people we are. And that’s why I have great respect for people like Lindsey Graham, John McCain, John Kasich, who I disagree with on a lot of political things but they had enough fiber and respect for humanity and tolerance for all groups to say what they said about the man.

And that’s what worries me. I get it, of course we want to be successful. Everybody wants to be successful. It’s our country, we don’t want it to go down the drain. But any reasonable person would come to that conclusion, but it does not take away the fact that he used that fear mongering and all the comments from day one.

The race-baiting, with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living, with whom I’m living. And the fact that people can just gloss that over and start talking about the transition team and we’re all going to be kumbaya now and try to make the country good without talking about any of those things.

And now we see that he’s already backing off about immigration, about Obamacare and other things. So was it a big fake? Which makes you feel it’s even more disgusting and cynical, that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up to get elected. And what gets lost in the process is African-Americans and Hispanics and women and the gay population. Not to mention the eighth-grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on, that’s what a seventh/eighth-grade bully does. And he was elected President of the United States. We would have scolded our kids, we would have had discussions and talked until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things. And he is in charge of this country. That’s disgusting.

We didn’t make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. That’s ironic to me. It just makes no sense. That’s my real fear and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly. That the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that’s necessary to understand other group’s situations. I’m a rich white guy and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African-American, a Hispanic or a handicapped person — how disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups who voted for him it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all of that. And so my final conclusion is, my big fear is, we are Rome.