Gregg Popovich Rips Roger Goodell, Says The Flag Is ‘Irrelevant’

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich ripped NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with some recent comments about the national anthem.

Protesting during the national anthem has been big in the news ever since Drew Brees’ comments, and Popovich has now taken a shot at Goodell over the issue. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

Popovich told the New York Times the following, according to ESPN:

A smart man is running the NFL and he didn’t understand the difference between the flag and what makes the country great — all the people who fought to allow [Colin] Kaepernick to have the right to kneel for justice. The flag is irrelevant. It’s just a symbol that people glom onto for political reasons.

These comments from Popovich don’t even really make sense. Goodell is a bad guy because he didn’t like the fact anthem protests were hurting the league?

Say whatever you want about Roger Goodell, but the man does understand business. The NFL made the right call to not support the national anthem protests when they started years ago.

Do you want to know why? It’s really simple. While opinion seems to be shifting, fans absolutely hated the national anthem protests.


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I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday. In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused. In an attempt to talk about respect, unity, and solidarity centered around the American flag and the national anthem, I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country. They lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy. Instead, those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character. This is where I stand: I stand with the black community in the fight against systemic racial injustice and police brutality and support the creation of real policy change that will make a difference. I condemn the years of oppression that have taken place throughout our black communities and still exists today. I acknowledge that we as Americans, including myself, have not done enough to fight for that equality or to truly understand the struggles and plight of the black community. I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the black community in this movement. I will never know what it’s like to be a black man or raise black children in America but I will work every day to put myself in those shoes and fight for what is right. I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy. I am sick about the way my comments were perceived yesterday, but I take full responsibility and accountability. I recognize that I should do less talking and more listening…and when the black community is talking about their pain, we all need to listen. For that, I am very sorry and I ask your forgiveness.

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The NFL isn’t running a charity. Goodell is responsible for running the most powerful sports organization on the planet.

When fans revolted, he had to do something, and it seemed like the NFL had bounced back in a nice way. as for Popovich calling the flag “irrelevant,” that’s just beyond stupid.

Whether you agree with the protests or not, I think any reasonable and rational person can agree that the flag represents a lot of things. It represents freedom, the military, what this country stands for and much more.

To call it “irrelevant” is absurdly offensive.

Popovich is welcome to his opinions, but him taking shots at Goodell seems so unnecessary and stupid.