NBA coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs is losing fan support over his controversial political statements and vile comments about Trump. The Texas Tribune interviewed fans who have dumped the team because of Popovich. It writes about one fan: “She feels insulted and can no longer bring herself to root for her favorite team, which is making its 21st consecutive playoff appearance. When Popovich got political, [she] got a garbage bag and filled it with 30 or so Spurs T-shirts, banners and trinkets. It all went to Goodwill.”
“That’s how angry I got. It ruined my basketball life,” she said. “I took it personally. I was such a loyal fan, and he insulted me. Why would you start attacking the people who had been so loyal?”
The Tribune adds, “But as athletes and coaches have become increasingly vocal on political and social issues, some fans have seen their ideological loyalties at war with their sporting interests.”
Jason Minnix, who hosts the ESPN afternoon drive-time show “The Blitz,” said that he’s heard of fans canceling season tickets and sponsors bailing on the team. But he added that many in San Antonio have become immune to Popovich’s political commentary.
Popovich has made known his disdain for Trump, and called the United States “an embarrassment to the world.” He refers to President Trump as a “soulless coward” and a “pathological liar.”
While Hillary Clinton won 53.7 percent of the vote in Bexar County in 2016 (compared with Trump’s 40.4 percent), The Tribune notes, fans have expressed that they feel Popovich personally attacked them for supporting Trump.
“It is sad that Pop basically told my wife and my son and me for that matter that we were fools for supporting Donald Trump,” one fan said. “What happens when someone calls you a fool? You avoid them.”
The Spurs declined to comment about Popovich’s comments.
At the end of the day fans feel like they have to choose between rooting for their favorite NBA team or for President Trump, and Trump wins hands down.
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