‘There is nothing I could tell him’: Popovich declines sit down with SAPOA leader after Prop B endorsement

Popovich said “Proposition B looks like a step in the right direction” for accountability with police departments

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – Gregg Popovich has been vocal this week about his support for Proposition B on the May 1 ballot, but on Thursday declined an invitation to discuss the measure further with the head of the San Antonio Police Officers Association.

The Spurs coach said he would “absolutely not” have any interest in sitting down with SAPOA president Danny Diaz to discuss Prop B, adding “there is nothing I could tell him.”

Diaz was critical of Popovich on Wednesday saying in a press release, “you’re the greatest basketball coach in the world, but on Prop. B, you threw a brick,” in reference to Popovich’s statements earlier in the day.

Popovich spoke to the media on Wednesday morning about the Derek Chauvin verdicts and was asked about Prop B, which if passed, would repeal the right for San Antonio police officers to collective bargain with the City of San Antonio on their labor contract.

“Proposition B looks like a step in the right direction so a yes vote on that I think is prudent, but it doesn’t get you where you need to be. We’re one of the few cities in Texas that still has collective bargaining,” Popovich said Wednesday. “We have to go further. People can’t be intimidated. There has to be accountability in police unions’ work. An organization that seeks as little accountability as possible should be a problem. There’s a reason for seeking as little accountability as possible, and that’s not good. We need to go further and hopefully, that can happen in negotiations, but Proposition B is the first step.”

Prior to being asked specifically about Prop B, Popovich blasted the structure of police unions and officer disciplinary protections across the country.

“Police unions use power in a way that does not protect and serve in many cases, and the power has to be taken away as much as possible just like with the NRA. We can’t believe and deal with the tactics they’ve used over the years,” said Popovich. “Calling out defunding is deceptive. It’s a lie. I think that more than anything, we have to remember to be on guard, to call it out, that justice has not been realized yet.”

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