Texas coach Shaka Smart called the election of Donald Trump a “slap in the face” when he was asked about it Friday following a 78-73 win against Incarnate Word.
Trump was elected President of the United States on Tuesday.
He’ll be inaugurated Jan. 20, 2017.
“When someone is elected who has a history of being hateful, of being racist, of being sexist, of saying certain things that are derogatory toward a certain group, it feels like a slap in the face,” Smart said, according to the Austin American-Statesman and Dallas Morning News. “That’s how some of [our players] felt. But you know what? We’re going to have to move forward. They’re not going to do another election. It is what it is, and we have to respond the right way. … Our country’s spoken. America’s got some issues. But this is not surprising based on the history of America.”
Smart is the latest in a long line of sports figures who have criticized the election of Trump. Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed frustration and disbelief with the election earlier this week. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich joined them Friday night.
“I’m just sick to my stomach — not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but [because of] the disgusting tenor and tone and all of the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic,” Popovich said, according to the San Antonio Express-News. “I live in a country where half of the people ignored all of that to elect someone. That’s the scariest part of the whole thing to me. It’s got nothing to do with the environment and Obamacare, and all of the other stuff. We live in a country that ignored all of those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. They’d be grounded for years if they acted and said the things that have been said in that campaign by Donald Trump. … I look at the Evangelicals and I wonder, those values don’t mean anything to them? All of those values to me are more important than anybody’s skill in business or anything else because it tells who we are, and how we want to live, and what kind of people we are.
“It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living — and with whom I’m living,” Popovich added. “And now we see that he’s already backing off of immigration and Obamacare and other things, so was it a big fake, which makes you feel it’s even more disgusting and cynical that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up to get elected. And what gets lost in the process are African-Americans, and Hispanics, and women, and the gay population, not to mention the eighth grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on. That’s what a seventh-grade, eighth-grade bully does. And he was elected President of the United States. We would have scolded our kids. We would have had discussions until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things. He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.”
A reporter then interrupted Popovich.
“I’m not done,” Popovich said. “One could go on and on. We didn’t make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. That’s ironic to me. It makes no sense. So that’s my real fear, and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly — that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that’s necessary to understand other group’s situations. I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. So I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now. Or a woman. Or an African-American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they must feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension.”