Spurs' Gregg Popovich rips Republicans, as well as Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, for blocking voting rights bill
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hasn't been shy about discussing hot-button political issues.
On Sunday before the Spurs' game against the Philadelphia 76ers , he took aim at Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema , who voted with Republicans to block the advancement of a sweeping voting rights bill that was supported by Democrats and U.S. President Joe Biden. The vote Wednesday night to end debate on the bill was shot down, 51-49, with every Republican voting against moving the bill.
Popovich's comments came after being asked about Juneteenth becoming a national holiday .
"As many have said, it’s been time, it’s past time for hardball,” Popovich said . "The Republican Senate will just not participate, they just will not. So, whatever can be done needs to be done. And Sinema and Manchin, they get it, but they don’t get it. They know what’s going on. They understand. But there are more important things to them, and it’s damn selfish and dangerous to our country."
Popovich continued the discussion about inequality during a nine-minute session with reporters.
"It's ironic, but as much as the community of color has been oppressed and denigrated, those are the people who try to save this damn country from itself," Popovich said. "It’s just ironic to me. Every time we take steps forward, you get the backlash. The fact that the voting rights issue is in the situation it’s in is just mind-boggling to me in one sense, because we’ve already gone through this back in the '60s, and we know what the Supreme Court did earlier in gutting it.
"But it's like we don’t get it. It’s like, maybe there wouldn’t be a democracy if it wasn’t for Black people."
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW: Stay up to date with our sports newsletter
Popovich closed by taking aim at the Senate.
"It seems like (with) the Senate, mostly older white people, it all comes down to fear mongering and race and power, and they don’t want to face it," Popovich said.
Last year, Popovich said that then-President Donald Trump should have been removed from office after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A few months earlier, Popovich called Trump "deranged" and said that he was "embarrassed as a white person" while addressing the death of George Floyd.
Contributing: Savannah Behrmann and Ledyard King, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spurs' Gregg Popovich rips Republicans, as well as Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, for blocking voting rights bill