LOS ANGELES (CBS13) – San Antonio Spurs and USA Basketball coach Gregg Popovich is again praising Colin Kaepernick for the former 49ers quarterback’s push for social justice.
On Tuesday, Popovich spoke to reporters after the US team practice in Los Angeles and was asked about more than basketball.
Popovich, who has not been one to shy away from commenting on current events, started talking about patriotism.
“Patriotism means a lot of things to different people,” Popovich said, ESPN reports. “There’s people who are truly committed in that sense and people who are fake. The show of patriotism I think is a bit inappropriate and that is not something that I think we want to emulate.”
The USA Basketball coach then started talking about Kaepernick.
“To negate that part of what we’re able to do is ignorant on anybody’s part who tries to make those people look unpatriotic. Like a Kaepernick. That was a very patriotic thing he did,” Popovich said.
Popovich continued his praise of Kaepernick, who was recently in the news again after posting that he’s “still ready” to come back in and play football.
“He cared about his country enough to fix some things that were obvious, that everybody knows about but does nothing about,” Popovich said.
Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016. He filed a collusion case against the league, alleging he had been blacklisted by NFL owners for his protests during the national anthem that aimed to bring light to racial injustices.
A settlement was reached earlier in 2019 in that case. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Popovich has coached the US national basketball team since 2016. The team – which features several Sacramento Kings players this year, including De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes – is getting ready for FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, which kicks off at the end of August.