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Don’t ‘vilify’ Gregg Popovich, Becky Hammon for standing during anthem

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Wearing Black Lives Matter shirts, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and assistant coach Becky Hammon opted to stand while players and coaches on the Spurs and Sacramento Kings kneeled during the national anthem Friday night. Popovich, who has long spoken out against racial injustice, explained he preferred to keep his decision to stand “to myself” and that “everybody has to make a personal decision.” Popovich’s star guard DeMar DeRozan said people should not “vilify” either Popovich or Hammon for standing. “With Pop and Becky standing, I have no thoughts [contrary to] belief in them that is all out of genuine, out of a positive side of their heart,” DeRozan said after finishing with 27 points and 10 assists in the Spurs’ 129-120 win over the Kings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. “Same way we kneel. Don’t take away nothing from those guys.