San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich is known for being a renaissance man, with a wide-ranging perspective and the ability to see all angles on a variety of topics.

It was only a matter of time until he gave his thoughts on the Colin Kaepernick anthem protest.

During the team’s media day on Monday, Popovich spoke out and said he respects athletes who are choosing to speak out against racial injustice by protesting the national anthem.

Popovich’s opinion came up when he was asked the very broad question of what his thoughts were on what’s been going on around the country

“I think it’s really dangerous to answer such important questions that have confounded so many people for hundreds of years, to ask me to give you my solutions, as if I had any, in 30 seconds. So if you want to be specific about a question, I’ll be more than happy to answer it because I think race is the elephant in the room in our country,” Popovich said.

“Do you support that athletes that are taking stands?” a reporter asked.

“I absolutely understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and I respect their courage for what they’ve done. The question is whether it will do any good or not because it seems that change really seems to happen through political pressure, no matter how you look at it. Whether it’s Dr. [Martin Luther] King getting large groups together and boycotting buses, or what’s happened in Carolina with the NBA and other organizations pulling events to make it known what’s going on. But I think the important thing that Kaepernick and others have done is to keep it in the conversation. When’s the last time you heard the name Michael Brown? With our 24/7 news, things seem to drift. We’re all trying to just exist and survive.

Popovich then dropped this in there:

“It’s easier for white people because we haven’t lived that experience. It’s difficult for many white people to understand the day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with.  It’s not just a rogue policeman, or a policeman exerting too much force or power, when we know that most of the police are just trying to do their job, which is very difficult. I’d be scared to death if I was a policeman and I stopped a car. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. And part of that in our country is exacerbated by the preponderance of guns that other countries don’t have to deal with. It gets very complicated.

Popovich, like Kaepernick and other athletes choosing to protest the national anthem, isn’t afraid  to speak his mind.

Furthermore, Popovich recognizes there is an issue in our country revolving around racial injustice and understands what Kaepernick is trying to do.

Immediately after Popovich made the above comments, he was understandably asked what he would do if his players protested in the same manner.

“My players are engaged citizens who are fully capable of understanding what their values are, and what they think is appropriate and inappropriate, and what they feel strongly about. Whatever actions may or may not be taken are their decisions, and I’m not going to tell anyone ahead of time that if they don’t do A, B and C, they’re going to be gone or traded. I think that’s ignorant.”

Popovich’s comments are very different than many of his head coach or front office counterparts. One would have to thinks that may make him more well liked by his players, but that may also be an unfair assumption to make.

At the end of the day one thing is for certain, Popovich isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

[My San Antonio]

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.