The Washington Post published an article Monday about a San Antonio Spurs fan who felt “insulted” by coach Gregg Popovich’s anti-Trump comments and felt she was being pushed to choose between her favorite NBA team and her president.
Cassandra Casanova said the Spurs were her obsession. She would loyally follow them on television, wear their jerseys and plan her activities around the playoffs. This year, she did an about-face.
“I have no idea when the games are,” she told WaPo. “I could not care less.”
“Her anger is directed solely at Coach Gregg Popovich,” the article reads. “I am completely turned off,” she said. “After all those years supporting the team, and now I just have no interest … Popovich really messed up.”
Popovich was asked about the WaPo article at Monday’s post-game press conference but shrugged it off and said, “I don’t care about that.”
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
Casanova said she was offended by Popovich spouting his political beliefs to the media and mixing up the entertainment of the NBA with his personal views. Back in March, Popovich sounded off on President Donald Trump and said he is showing “cowardice” by not pushing for stricter gun control laws.
“It’s just cowardice,” Popovich said. “A real leader would have been in Washington D.C. this weekend, not at his penthouse at Mar-a-Lago. He would have had the decency to meet with a group, to see what’s going on, and how important it is, and how important our children should be to us. So for all those politicians involved, it’s just a dereliction of duty.”
Popovich also said Trump “brings out the dark side of human beings for his own purpose” and called the commander-in-chief a “xenophobic, homophobic, racist.”
WaPo reported that Casanova filled a garbage bag with dozens of Spurs T-shirts and banners after Popovich got political.
“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 organization has never said anything about any opinion that I might have,” Popovich said Monday according to WaPo. “Not one time.”
The NFL felt a similar fan backlash after the league turned political, culminating in a steep ratings decline across the board.
The Spurs declined to comment on any effect Popovich’s public comments and behavior has had on the team or the fans, WaPo reported.
“He’s there to coach and entertain,” Cassanova said. “Maybe they’ll end up with a new coach who doesn’t feel the need to talk politics. I just want to watch basketball.”
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