Media Recall Woke Popovich's Memorable Columbus Day Tirade 

Jay Maxson | October 11, 2022
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This week marks the one-year anniversary of San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich absolutely losing his mind over Christopher Columbus. Two days before last year’s observance of Columbus Day, “Pop” unleashed a tirade against Americans observing “genocide,” “murder” and “slavery.” Conservative media Outkick and Breitbart both consider it newsworthy a year later. 

The frequently unhinged, woke NBA coach brought up “new-world genocide” and Hitler comparisons during a press conference last year on the Monday observance of Columbus Day. 

As Breitbart writer Warner Todd Huston noted, Popovich raged that observing Columbus Day is like people of German dissent celebrating Hitler.: 

“Columbus? He initiated a new-world genocide, that’s what he did. Beginning with him, and what he said would follow, the annihilation of every indigenous person in Hispaniola, which was Haiti and the Dominican Republic today. 

“He took slaves, he mutilated, he murdered, and we’re going to say ‘slash’ and honor him?… It’s Columbus Day, that’s why they (schools) are off on Monday? Maybe there’s something I’m missing and I’m ignorant, but it makes me feel like they’re living in a phone booth, and they’re educating our kids. Columbus Day, and we’re going to honor that?” 

Popovich specifically targeted a school in his San Antonio back yard, Alamo Heights Independent School District, for recognizing Columbus, the Italian explorer. 

Huston criticized Popovich for going back five centuries to assail Columbus while ignoring modern-day human rights horrors exacted upon the people of China by their own horrid government. China is making a lot of people connected with the NBA rich, very rich, so their crimes against humanity get the silent treatment. It’s rank hypocrisy. 

Related: ESPN Gaffe: World Leader In Sports Hypes Rays Game Vs. ‘Indians’ 

“China is responsible for murdering millions of people in its genocide against the Uyghurs, it typically enslaves millions of people to make western sportswear, and it routinely murders, mutilates, and tortures political dissidents,” Huston responded to Popovich’s left-wing Columbus boiler plate assumptions. 

Much of the revisionist Columbus hatred originates in the anti-American writings of the dishonest Marxist "historian" Howard Zinn. Based on Zinn's distortions, Columbus haters blame him for exterminating Indians. Some of his statues have been taken down by self-righteous leftists. More reasoned voices offered alternate views on Columbus. 

Pablo Emilio Pérez-Mallaína, professor of Americas history at the University of Seville, Spain, refutes the genocide narrative as “meaningless. We cannot speak of genocide, since Columbus never wanted to exterminate an entire race, including because he needed it as a labour force."   

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas-Rep) said, “No, he (Columbus) didn’t commit genocide, ‘literally’ or otherwise. He did discover the New World, which led to colonizers, some of whom inadvertently brought disease.” Sen. Cruz also called those who toppled a Columbus statue in Minnesota the “American Taliban.” 

Michael Knowles, who hosts his own show on the Daily Wire and The Book Club at PragerU., also disagrees with Popovich. He said genocide occurred in the new world after Columbus was dead. The explorer wasn’t completely blameless, but he treated the Taino tribe with “kindness and respect.” Columbus is celebrated by a national holiday because he brought Western civilization to the western hemisphere, Knowles said.