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Popovich claps back at Abbott's ending of mask mandate

Gregg Popovich
Posted at 10:21 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 11:25:05-05

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ripped Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to remove the statewide mask order and allowing businesses to reopen at 100 capacity next week, calling his edict "ignorant" and "mystifying."

"In all honesty, I'm worried about the people in our state," Popovich told reporters at a press conference several hours after Abbott's decision was announced. "It's a pretty mystifying decision considering the situation that we're all in, but as far as the players go, we listen to the NBA, not Governor Abbott."

Popovich, a frequent critic of Abbott on most political topics, elaborated on where he believes the governor's decision will place the state.

"It puts a lot of businesses in a tough spot, I think," Popovich said. "They're trying to do a good job of keeping everybody safe. Of course, they want to open up, but getting rid of masks just seems ignorant to me.

"We have to have instant gratification and act like the pandemic is over. We already went through this once, and now we're doing it again? When you go into those restaurants, you have to take your mask off anyway when you're eating. So how hard can it be?"

Popovich added that enforcing Abbott's new law might be more difficult than the original mask order.

"Now they're going to have to talk to people that come in, and the people that didn't want to wear masks in the first place, how do the businesses get them to wear masks?

"Well, now they don't have to, so now there will be infections, one would think. But when all of a sudden we act like it's over with and all of the science tells us the opposite, you're basically saying, 'You get infected and die? that's the way it goes. We have to open up!' That's not the way to do it, this is really ridiculous."