San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich: Discussing Basketball ‘Meaningless’, ‘Inappropriate’ After Sutherland Springs Church Shooting

(AP Photo / Eric Gay)

After Sunday morning’s Sutherland Springs church shooting that killed at least 26 people and injured more than 30, San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol spoke about gun violence.

“I mean, to me it’s gotten out of control,” Gasol said. “The situation, the laws, the gun regulations, they need to be addressed.”

Sutherland Springs is 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. Preceding their game, the Spurs held a moment of silence for the victims of the First Baptist Church.

After the game, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said it would be “inappropriate” to talk about basketball in light of the nearby tragedy:

“We won a basketball game, but considering what’s going on today, it’s pretty meaningless,” Popovich said “When you think about the tragedy those families are suffering, it’s just inconceivable. It’s impossible to put your head around. So I think talking about basketball tonight is probably pretty inappropriate.”

Gasol answered several questions about the tragedy and also referred to the Las Vegas shooting last month where at least 59 people were killed. Here are Gasol’s words, via the San Antonio Express News:

“I mean, to me it’s gotten out of control,” Gasol said. “The situation, the laws, the gun regulations, they need to be addressed. It’s anywhere — concerts, schools, churches, kids. I mean, it’s devastating. But it’s a reality that needs to be addressed. I’m unaware of how or the powers behind the gun laws and gun organizations in this country, but you need to protect the innocent. It’s happened down the road. It could have happened to any of us. It could happen in the supermarket next time. It could happen anywhere. It’s gotten to a point that it’s really worrisome. Really worrisome.”

“There’s just too many innocent people that are dying, families that are being destroyed for life,” Gasol said. “I think it’s grave enough that something needs to change for the better. I don’t know how. I can’t do much about it except express my opinion and my concern as a human being. But something without a question to me … the point is, it can happen to anyone. It’s mind-blowing.”

“You think about the guy in Vegas that owns up to 20 guns,” Gasol said. “He has an arsenal. A citizen? Why does a citizen need an arsenal? It’s one thing to defend yourself and the right to own a weapon to defend your home. But 20 shotguns? Automatic guns? It’s outrageous.”

“It’s too repetitive. It’s not something every 20 years. It seems like it happens once every week or two weeks. At what point do we say enough? I don’t know. Again, I know it’s a delicate subject but I hate for innocent people to get killed and for families to pay that price and carry that burden for the rest of their life. It’s sad. It’s really sad. It needs to be addressed. I hope that it is. I hope we see change and progress to prevent this from happening so often.”

Popovich has spoken about politics many times, and the Spurs foster an environment in which players can feel comfortable speaking about social issues, if they choose to.

SOURCE: SB Nation – Tim Cato