Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan reacts to Gregg Popovich, Becky Hammon’s decision to stand during national anthem
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and his assistant, Becky Hammon, have been engulfed in a bit controversy of late following their decision not to take a knee during the national prior to the Spurs’ matchup against the Sacramento Kings on Friday. For his part, San Antonio swingman DeMar DeRozan came to the defense of his coaches, explaining why he believes neither of them should be criticized for their decision.
According to DeMar DeRozan, this single act does not cancel out what both Popovich and Hammon have been doing in terms of their support for the fight against systemic racism:
“We have no doubt in (what Pop and Hammon believe). Pop speaks out. Becky’s on the front line. She stands for equality,” he said, via Spurs insider Mike Finger. “There’s no need to vilify someone for standing.”
When asked about his decision not to kneel during the anthem, Popovich said that it was a “personal decision.” The veteran coach no longer went into detail, but also expressed how the players and the coaches were not given any directive, and that they were all free to do what they deemed fit during the playing of the anthem.
As DeRozan expressed, Popovich has been very vocal about his support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Pop has even gone as far as criticizing United States President Donald Trump for what Popovich deems to be a lack of action from the commander-in-chief.
It is also worth noting, however, that Popovich is also an Air Force veteran, so this may have played a role in his decision to stand up during the anthem.