LAS VEGAS – Gregg Popovich refrained from discussing politics Monday as Team USA gathered in Las Vegas for the start of its training camp.
But Tuesday afternoon, he was asked directly about the mass shootings that occurred over the weekend in El Paso and Dayton that claimed the lives of more than 30 people and injured dozens more.
A reporter asked if basketball could be a distraction for the gun violence the country saw over a 24-hour period.
“The situation we’re all living in now. I think everybody looks for a little bit of distraction in some way, shape or form, but it would be a lot better if the people in power got off their a--es and got something done, in a lot of different areas,” Popovich said.
Popovich continued, calling on lawmakers and Congress to reconvene and take action.
“I think they’re on vacation right now. Nothing going on. They’ll come back and fix the gun situation, the environment and the inequality in pay. They’ll fix all that when they come back, I’m sure,” Popovich said.
The Spurs head coach has long been outspoken about social injustices and President Donald Trump. But he’s also preached unity for Team USA as it prepares for the FIBA World Cup.
"We can't fix the divisiveness in our country, but what we can do is be a great example of how people come together for a common goal and achieve it," Popovich told reporters Monday. "We have a huge responsibility, not only for the country, to do this in a classy manner, but to continue the success that USA basketball has had over the last 12 years.”