Gregg Popovich has been dispensing regular civics lessons on a multitude of occasions throughout 2017. As an Air Force grad, trained intelligence officer, and informed private citizen, Popovich’s opinions on domestic, global and societal issues are often well-informed and nuanced.
On Tuesday, Popovich was asked by Michael C. Wright of the ESPN why charity and community were so important to him. His answer was succinct, but the message still delivered the same powerful impact.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked why he thinks it’s important to give back to the community: “Because we’re rich as hell and we don’t need it all, and other people need it. Then, you’re an a– if you don’t give it. Pretty simple.”
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) December 27, 2017
Last June, Popovich struck the same chord in raising awareness during their Fighting for Hunger charity dinner, per Fox Sports.
“In San Antonio, we have a great need,” Popovich said. “The Food Bank serves about 58,000 families each week. We have a lot of kids and families who need meals. The need never seems to go away, and this is one example of what we can do off the court.” […]
“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.”
During this season of giving, Popovich’s comments are especially weighty. Popovich obviously isn’t implying wealthy individuals should give every dime of theirs to the needy, but in moderation, charity in good faith has a beneficial social purpose. The counter response to Popovich is one probably one you’ve heard before that lumps in those who accept charity into one monolith consisting of lazy, welfare-consuming individuals who won’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps while hard-working wealthy elites should look out for themselves.
If you’re wondering “why should someone give their money to people who won’t work for theirs?,” you missed the point.
You may need to get familiarized with the trials and tribulations that result in everyday Americans, veterans, minimum wage workers and the unemployed professionals from depending on the kindness of strangers or starting GoFundMe pages to pay for medical procedures. Policies that have grown the income inequality disparity while simultaneously benefiting the affluent has left blue collar Americans or those living in poverty further disadvantaged due to stagnating wages, the exportation of jobs or automation.
Society has never been perfect, but the need for charity is as great as it’s ever been and as a fairly wealthy NBA head coach, Pop knows society can do better. Anyone who can’t understand that probably comprise the a–hole population Popovich is referring to.