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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has made an emotional speech taking aim at Texas lawmakers for inaction on gun reform in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The NBA coach spoke at the ‘Stand with Uvalde’ fundraiser and community gathering over the weekend and expressed his frustrations with politicians’ response to the tragedy.
Popovich said: “We’ve heard all the comments on television from some of our government officials about thoughts and prayers and condolences and on and on and on.
“They’re the same statements after every massacre, exactly the same, and it never changes, and more children are dead and more teachers and more civilians, dead.”
Gregg Popovich took the podium for the @votolatino #StandWithUvalde community gathering. He started out by talking about how these deadly massacres happen in Texas, but nothing gets done. Popovich said they are out of line because they haven’t done anything. pic.twitter.com/z3DP0PQHqP— Jose Arredondo (@sportsguyjose) June 4, 2022
The longest-tenured active coach in the NBA hit out at the hypocrisy of Texas politicians’ focus on mental health in wake of the tragedy despite Texas cutting millions in mental health funding, according to KSAT.
He particularly took aim at Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott who have failed to act after another mass shooting in the state.
Popovich continued: “How many will it take? A massacre a month? Two massacres a week? Fifteen kids? Twenty-four kids? When we kill 74 sometimes, then maybe you'll do something. Get off your ass. Do something.
Popovich talked about how Texas should get its political officials in power and put them in a room until they can come up with solutions. He asked “how many more is it going to take?” And ended his statement with “Get off your ass.” pic.twitter.com/BlqVXPwobV— Jose Arredondo (@sportsguyjose) June 4, 2022
"(Politicians) work for us. The majority of us want them to do something about the gun laws. And they don't do it because they care more about their power, their position and their money than they do about our children."
Popovich called out those same politicians for calling Beto O’Rourke ‘out of line’ when he confronted them at a press conference following the Uvalde shooting - instead saying the other officials were the ones ‘out of line’.
He concluded his speech by urging those in attendance to vote out the politicians who aren’t going to act to protect children’s lives.
He added: “I’m sick and tired of 50 and 60 and 70-year-old white men screwing up all our lives because they are selfish and really care about nothing else but their position.”
“I’m sick and tired of 50 and 60 and 70 year old white men screwing up all or lives because they are selfish and really care about nothing else but their position,” Gregg Popovich said towards then of his speech. #StandWithUvalde pic.twitter.com/zTJ8Lq4Npb— Jose Arredondo (@sportsguyjose) June 4, 2022
Popovich’s comments come in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary where 19 students and two adults were killed by an 18-year-old gunman.
Popovich’s speech follows that of fellow NBA coach, Golden State’s Steve Kerr who made an emotional plea to American politicians in the immediate wake of the shooting.
The coach began his speech by slamming his fist on the table saying, ‘any basketball questions don’t matter’, and asking ‘when are we going to do something?!’.
He continued: “I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there.
“I’m sorry. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
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