San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is often a man of few words when dealing with the media, but he is more than willing to speak his mind when it comes to subjects that matter.
During a charity dinner on Monday, Popovich spoke passionately to NBA.com about the country's rampant inequality, which is notably pervasive in the city of San Antonio, Texas.
“Everybody knows there’s disparity, but it’s almost an embarrassing situation,” Popovich said. “If you’re doing well, you should be embarrassed if you’re doing nothing to try to ease that gap. Whether it’s spending time with organizations, giving money, or both, it’s a responsibility that cannot be denied. If you deny it, shame on you.”
According to a recent New York Times article, San Antonio "ranked as the most spatially unequal city in the country," with 42 percent of residents in the low-income section of the city living below the poverty line. The proceeds of the charity dinner will provide more than 1.2 million meals for the residents of San Antonio.
The Spurs coach has been a vocal advocate for issues of equality in the past, especially as they relate to the NBA. Popovich has advocated for more women to be involved in coaching and hired Becky Hammons as an assistant coach in August 2014. He has similarly spoken out against the homophobia. Though sometimes less than forthcoming with his political leanings, he donated $5,000 to Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign.
Perhaps if you interview Pop at halftime during a game, you'll be left with few insightful answers. But ask about things that really matter and you'll get him to open up.