Coaches, opinions, protests and wait, there was an election?

In case you haven’t been paying attention lately, we just held a presidential election.  It was kind of a big deal.

Real estate tycoon and now president-elect Donald Trump bested career politician and former first lady Hillary Clinton in what turned out to be a shocker for about half of America and media pundits everywhere.  All election polls showed Trump trailing his opponent until the very end when only one poll mattered: the scoreboard.

It’s safe to say at this point, we are a country divided.

There are more than just a few people unhappy with the way this election was run and the way things turned out.  San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is one of those people.


Pop has never been one to curb his tongue, unless it’s during a game in which he simply can’t be bothered by reporters asking questions he deems beneath him.  His curt, sideline antics with on-air personalities are fodder for fans and media alike but that’s alright with Pop.  He could care less how those outside his inner circle feel about him.  He’s made his millions, won his titles and by all accounts is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history.

Recently, however, Pop decided to speak a little longer than usual.  It doesn’t take a private eye to determine how he feels about the man we just elected president.  Take a listen.

You may find Pop’s comments inappropriate and they’ll certainly make for interesting conversation the next time the Spurs are invited to the White House after winning an NBA title as championship teams have done in the past.  That policy might change with the upcoming presidency but we shall see.

Pop spoke his mind and he has every right to do so.  There’s another legendary coach, however, who said he didn’t even know there was an election.  His name is Nick Saban.


I’m not sure which is more impressive: that Nick Saban focuses so much on Alabama Football that he didn’t know there was an election or that he convinced us all that that was the case.

I mean, I suppose it’s perfectly conceivable that Nick Saban is so obsessed with his profession that he didn’t have time to get out and vote but… nah, he had to have known.  Those nasty campaign ads were everywhere.  I know the internet is a recent phenomenon in Alabama but I’m pretty sure it’s made it there by now.

When asked how he felt about the election results, Saban answered the question correctly.  After all, he lives in a red state and is hands down Alabama’s highest paid public employee.  Nobody needs to know his voting habits, not even the (very small) handful of liberals that root for the Crimson Tide.


Plus by answering the way he did, Saban presents the illusion that Alabama football is more important than whichever candidate won this election which, to many, it is.

The beautiful irony here is those Trump-backers who have blasted our PC culture on their way to the White House see Pop’s comments as out of line when in this instance it was Saban who was the politically correct one by skirting the answer.

What a tangled web we weave.

I’ve never been one to vote the way a coach, actor, player or musician tells me to.  The day I need Joey from Friends to tell me how to vote is the day I turn in my voter registration card once and for all.  But Nick Saban and Gregg Popovich do pull some weight as perhaps the most recognizable and maybe even most influential men in their respective area codes.

You may now hate the Spurs or love the Tide because of their coaches’ comments (doubtful) but that’s what’s great about the country we live in.  We are all free to speak our minds.

Speaking of bad timing and our right to free speech, I tended bar last week for a pub crawl that celebrated the 241st birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  If you’ve ever attended one of these events, you’d know it’s generally a shit show… but it’s a proud shit show.  Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, as an American, if you don’t respect the sacrifices our armed forces have made to grant us the freedoms we celebrate, I have a Colin Kaepernick jersey to sell you.

As said Marines were celebrating their birthday, a group of local protestors, apparently Popovichian-ly unhappy with the election results, decided to unknowingly march right past their celebration.  Things got a little testy.

Fortunately things remained civil thanks to local police officers and the cooler heads that prevailed on either side of them.  Marines have fought and died for the rights of those holding the picket signs and even liquored up, they were far too disciplined to pick a fight on their holiest of days.  And the protestors had enough sense to realize that starting shit with 400 Marines is not the way the wanted to spend their Thursday evening.


My friends, this is America and regardless of who we elected president, I’m damn proud to live in a country that allows us to express our differences of opinion.  I’ve lived in places that haven’t.  Our liberties provide the opportunity for Pop to say what he did and Saban to say what he didn’t.

The sooner we realize this is what makes America great and use that to our collective good, the better off we’ll be, regardless of what it says on your voter registration card.

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17 Replies to “Coaches, opinions, protests and wait, there was an election?”

  1. 1) Thanks for the 241st birthday wishes…SEMPER FI.
    2) I called out Colin Kaepernick for this, and I’m going to call out Pops as well. Yes, this is America and you do have the right to express your opinion…but you don’t have the right to do it on your employer’s time. Taking a knee during the anthem at a game or offering your political opinions during a contractually-obligated press interaction are part of a job you are being paid to do…oh and by the way, most personal service contracts like those coaches and players sign have clauses which disallow this sort of things. I explain that in detail here

    In other words, say whatever you want, but do it on your own time.

  2. The latest stank in Tampa, Dub, now comes from Mike Evans, who decided to sit during the latest national anthem.

    I do believe he has since come out and explained why he sat, which I’m not sure made any damn bit of difference.

    Look, I work for a man who owns a business and even though I go out and do things on my own in my own personal time, I am still a representative of that business. I also represent my family name.

    So anything actions I take or anything that I do, I will be judged for, right or wrong.

    On a grander scale, or at least a more public one, we have Pop and Saban speaking their minds. Well, Pop at least.

    Look, Pop’s not gonna get fired or fined for his comments but I bet you ownership isn’t all that pleased about it. And Saban damn well knew better than to say anything.

    I’m okay with these guys expressing their opinions, as we’ve discussed, as long as they’re willing to accept the consequences for doing so.

  3. Oops ! How the mighty have fallen and all this from a country which still sees itself as a moral beacon for the rest of the world . How quaint . I guess when the likes of , Jesse Owens , Arthur Ashe , Ali and Jackie Robinson protested their opposition to the injustices seen while their professional careers were their zenith , some simply didn’t give a damn ? Now what ?

  4. How come nobody asked Art Briles his opinion on the election? If I had press credentials I sure as hell would. I kinda figure he would invoke God in his answer. Just to try to entice any future employer in Division 2.

    Back to the election. After the Access Hollywood video surfaced I pressed my bet on Crooked Hillary. I paid and moved on. Trump is the real “Teflon Don”.

  5. One of the required courses for a Political Science degree at Texas Tech is Political Analysis. Basically, you learn how the opinion polls work, how to write proper poll questions, and how to properly analyze the data gathered from the poll. The semester culminates in the students choosing a topic to research, writing poll questions , polling the required number of Lubbock County registered voters to attain the desired margin of error, and after careful analysis, presenting the findings in a 10 page paper. One of the core questions that is always asked is “Who did you vote for in the last Presidential election?” You’d be surprised how many people refuse to answer that question. One gentleman spent 15 minutes lecturing me on the sanctity of the secret ballot.

  6. Semper Fi and kudos to those Marines for their restraint.

    Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing and should be celebrated…However, there are always repercussions whether it be ridicule, praise, losing one’s job or worse because of it. People of all political persuasions and leanings would be wise to consider this quote:

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” was written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall (although the phrase is often attributed to Voltaire.)

  7. Al…

    We laud those athletes as champions of a well-needed crusade.

    Let me ask you this.

    Twenty years from now, which modern athlete will be remembered more for his work in promoting a cause?

  8. Beagle….

    On a far less important yet still related note, as you know, I tend bar for a living.

    Plenty of servers and bartenders will randomly tell you what they made after an evening’s work, often boasting if they made a good pull.

    I was always taught that what you took home was your business. After all, I’m better than most so damn right if I’m not gonna make more than most.

    Some things, while fairly and properly discussed, are better left unsaid. For it’s nobody’s business but your own.

  9. Bets…

    What was Trump getting up to and on election night? I thought about it but didn’t pull the trigger. How glorious is it that we can bet on these things?

    And speaking of politics and gambling, with the new guy at the helm, do you think we’ll see any progress made as far as legalizing sports gambling nationwide?

  10. Hang on, Voltaire.


    I probably didn’t do that Marine scene enough justice. In other conversations, I’ve compared it to the end of Do The Right Thing, just without Radio Raheem dying but will all the tension and drama.

    Spike Lee could not be reached for comment.

  11. I actually read about that Marine thing on a website I can’t recall a few days prior to reading your post and thought those protesters got off lucky that the Marines are such honorable souls.

    Reminds me of what a small world it can be sometimes to hear my boy Chump was square in the middle of the possible mayhem.

    Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed.

  12. Chris,

    Trump closing odds roughy +5-1. Lots of volatility the last 2 week ’cause of Comey. Better chance for some legalization with GOP……….but careful what you wish for. The government gouge on bets won’t be pocket friendly. I’m fine with status quo.

  13. Right now the partnership with Uncle Sam is sometimes voluntary(April 15). With the G, the gracious tip(tax) is automatically tacked on the tab with poor service.

  14. Pingback: Trump tells Curry “No Soup for You!” | Sports Chump

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