WATCH: Coach Pop questions local school districts over Columbus Day

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Ahead of last Friday’s preseason match up against the Miami Heat, Spurs’ longtime head coach Gregg Popovich applauded the White House and aired some grievances to the media over today’s national holiday.

Earlier that day, President Joe Biden became the first commander-in-chief to proclaim Columbus Day 2021 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in an effort to honor and recognize “the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples.”

Popovich deemed the president’s proclamation as “appropriate, important … and needed.”

“But I’m a little confused about our city and why its Indigenous Peoples’ Day slash Columbus Day. Columbus?” Popovich asked rhetorically. ” I mean he initiated a new world genocide … He took slaves, he mutilated, he murdered and we’re going to say ‘slash’ and honor him?”

Popovich went on to say that he gives San Antonio ISD props for including Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the district’s acknowledgement for the school holiday, but took issue with another local district for not including the recognition at all.

“But what the hell is Alamo Heights thinking?” Popovich said. ” … Maybe there is 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.”

Popovich said his criticism is not against Italian-Americans and their connection to the Italian explorer and called that “a silly argument.”

“It’s like saying we should be proud of Hitler because we’re German,” Popovich said. “It makes no sense. [The holiday] is about Columbus, not about Italian-Americans.”

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