SAN ANTONIO – Hours before the San Antonio Spurs played the Golden State Warriors on Monday night in Game 2 of their playoff series, The Washington Post published an article that detailed some of the backlash San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich has faced from Spurs fans who are upset with his criticism of President Donald Trump.
The Washington Post interviewed three lifelong Spurs fans who say they have been turned off by Popovich’s political commentary.
Those fans said Popovich has forced them to choose between their team and their president.
During pregame media availability, Popovich was asked if he had read the article.
The Athletic’s Anthony Slater posted video of Popovich’s response on Twitter.
Gregg Popovich on the Washington Post story about some Spurs fans being turned off by his political comments pic.twitter.com/dP7uARhxmu— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 17, 2018
"The Washington Post cares about what’s going on in San Antonio?” Popovich said. “Wow, OK, go ahead, I’m still trying to process that.”
The reporter continued and asked if Popovich had any reaction or cared about the article, and if he felt any pressure from the organization to tone down his political commentary.
"Let me answer your first question quickly. No, I don’t care about that, an article that anybody might write, except if you wrote one,” Popovich joked.
“The organization has never said a word about any opinions that I might have, about anything, not one time.”
Popovich has been outspoken and criticized President Trump since he took office in 2016.
As the Post noted, that has alienated some Spurs fans, who said in the article they do not tune into games to get criticized or lectured.
The Spurs averaged 18,403 fans this season and filled the AT&T Center to 99 percent capacity.
The Post also interviewed ESPN San Antonio 1250 radio host Jason Minnix, who said many fans have "become somewhat immune to Popovich’s political commentary" and are more frustrated by the team’s current struggles on the court, specifically related to injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.