I’ve got TALL respect for Gregg Popovich because he’s simply got good sense and he sees the world through the same lens that I do even though he’s white and I’m black. More often than not in our country we’re culturally divided because of our differences in upbringing. So we don’t always see things the same way.
In most cases, even though there are laws prohibitin’ segregation in America black folks tend to live with black folks and white folks with white folks. And guess what playboy, nobody ever gets to understand one another like they should. So when foolishness pops off everybody runs to their respective corners and we NEVER get anywhere when it comes to race relations.
However, a dun like Gregg Popovich completely gets it because he grew up in Northwest Indiana in East Chicago, which sits right next to “The G” where I grew up. E.C. is a meltin’ pot of cultures. There are blacks, whites and Latinos living in the same hoods at every level. Then you’ve got the subgroups of whites that were first or second generation immigrants as well.
Just figurin’ out what you’re goin’ to eat is a chore out there bruh. You can get soul food, Greek, Polish, Italian, Mexican and Asian all on the same block.
So when a media-type asked Pop what Black History Month meant to him shortly before his Spurs played the 76ers on Thursday night he could intellegently give this response via ESPN:
“Well, it’s a remembrance, and a bit of a celebration in some ways. It sounds odd because we’re not there yet, but it’s always important to remember what has passed and what is being experienced now by the black population. It’s a celebration of some of the good things that have happened, and a reminder that there’s a lot more work to do. But more than anything, I think if people take the time to think about it, I think it is our national sin. It always intrigues me when people come out with, ‘I’m tired of talking about that or do we have to talk about race again?’ And the answer is you’re damned right we do. Because it’s always there, and it’s systemic in the sense that when you talk about opportunity it’s not about ‘Well, if you lace up your shoes and you work hard, then you can have the American dream.’ That’s a bunch of hogwash. If you were born white, you automatically have a monstrous advantage educationally, economically, culturally in this society and all the systemic roadblocks that exist, whether it’s in a judicial sense, a neighborhood sense with laws, zoning, education, we have huge problems in that regard that are very complicated, but take leadership, time, and real concern to try to solve. It’s a tough one because people don’t really want to face it. And it’s in our national discourse. We have a president of the United States who spent four or five years disparaging and trying to illegitimatize our president. And we know that was a big fake. But still, [he] felt for some reason it had to be done. I can still remember a paraphrase close to a quote “investigators were sent to Hawaii and you cannot believe what they found.” Well, that was a lie. So if it’s being discussed and perpetrated at that level, you’ve got a national problem. I think that’s enough.”
Simply put playa, Pop gets it!! That’s why he’s one of the most successful coaches in team sports history. Not just in the NBA bruh but in all of sports! Look at his roster every year. He’s got duns from all over the world playin’ for him. Why? Because he respects everyone’s culture equally.
In order for you to respect people from different cultures you’ve got to get to know people from cultures that are different from yours. The only reason that we ever run into the arrogance of white privilege is because those that are guilty of it don’t have close relationships with people from different cultures, backgrounds and socioeconomic situations.
Pop has an advantage that most cats that look like him don’t have. He understands the foolishness that black folks have to deal with on a daily basis because he grew up watchin’ it. Not only did he play in the streets of E.C. he played little league basketball in the 1960’s in “The G!!”
So when he speaks about culture and race listen to him. The same message comin’ from Pop will always be more powerful to the ears of other white folks because he doesn’t have a dog in the fight.
If I say the same exact thing word for word and pause for pause it would get dismissed as just another black man makin’ excuses. In other words, it falls on deaf ears.
We NEED cats like Pop out here usin’ his platform to make a difference even if it’s only a 3 minute rant from time to time. Much respect big bruh! Keep bangin’ and stop me when I start lyin’!
1) Dun: noun – the person in question, dude, guy, etc. It’s whoever I’m talkin’ about and its non-gender specific.
2) The G: noun – Gary, Indiana
The caption under the photo isn’t real but it’s real talk!