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Gregg Popovich says he’s proud of Tony Parker for apology following controversial quenelle gesture

Jan 1, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four Getty Images

Tony Parker found himself in some trouble recently when a photo of him surfaced that showed him making a controversial gesture that has racist implications for some.

Parker issued an apology through the team, largely pleading ignorance of the gesture’s meaning while promising never to do it again and promote awareness so that others can avoid it, as well.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was asked about it before Tuesday’s home contest against the Nets, and his words of support of Parker during this incident should have come as no surprise.

From Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News:

“I talked with Tony,” Popovich said about 90 minutes before Tuesday’s game with Brooklyn. “I felt bad for him. Tony doesn’t have an anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim or anti-Christian bone in his body. That gesture was made three years ago and at that time he thought it meant something totally different.

“Which it did, to him. It’s morphed into something else over time. But it’s a tribute to his leadership and his leadership to understand it has morphed, as he found out, into something pretty hateful. He realized he needed to say something, that’s it not appropriate.

“There’s enough bigotry and racism and hatred in the world already. That thing has been taken too far. When he was informed of that and understood it, he was very quick to denounce it and understand what he had to do. So I was proud of him.”

Popovich has always been a father figure to Parker (and Tim Duncan), so his words of encouragement here are to be expected.

It always strikes me as how tone deaf athletes can be with regards to situations like these; the comedian in question has a history of racist controversies, yet Parker was happy to have his picture taken with him while making this controversial gesture.

  1. seanb20124 - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    Same situation as Riley Cooper found himself in. He got caught he apologized.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      Beyoncé should make changes to her song for the family of those lost in the Challenger and
      STOP with the stupid excuses and explanation already.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Jan 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Seanb, Riley Cooper saying the N-word is nothing like this. The N-Word has a deep history and there’s no confusion about it. The majority of the NFL is black and it was WAY more offensive.

      What TP did was an obscure gesture whch he def wouldn’t have done if he knew what it meant yet he still apologized even though this was done a long time ago.

  2. cranespy - Jan 1, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    I beg to differ……Tony Parker and Riley Cooper have nothing in common. Coop has a record of such ideological leanings, TP on the other hand is known as a gentleman who understands the impact his actions had on a group of people.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      I agree, Cooper was a idiot, but his team accepted his apology and we move on.

  3. metalhead65 - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    good job tony say your sorry for something you said/did 3 years ago while trying to have a good time. it is only a matter of time before the pc police track what ever you say and do and find something offensive about it forcing an apology. why we must be sensitive about what the pc police finds offensive? I am offended they find everything offensive, I have idea what it is he did or why he needs to say he is sorry but if the pc police are upset about I am all for it.

    • louhudson23 - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      You could have just stated that you are an ignorant fool and saved all the typing…

      • metalhead65 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        and you could have said you are tree hugging liberal and let everyone know that you are part of the pc police.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      hey meathead65, Tony did the right thing, he was being a man and he owned what he did, maybe you should start being a man in 2014.
      and tell Jigga STOP rapping about white money that he gets for his clothing at Barneys!

      • metalhead65 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        like I said I have no idea what he did. I am just not a fan of political correctness. I do not listen rap so I have no idea of what you are talking about.

  4. motobus - Jan 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Kids do this everyday while reciting the pledge of allegiance. And I doubt his team had to feign ignorance because I bet 99/100 people have no idea what this is without looking it up.

  5. espfdps - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    I’m an eagles fan and I’ll say that it’s nothing like what Riley cooper did. He knew what he was saying and got caught. Parker did something 3 years ago and had no clue it was something derogatory. Time for anyone who cares to accept the apology and move on.

  6. alamospursfan - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    What’s the point of demanding these pointless public apologies if we’re not going to accept them?

  7. stoptrippn - Jan 2, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Move on

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