You can add Texas Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart as the latest basketball coach to speak out about the 2016 presidential election. A handful of NBA coaches have spoken out on the issue, but now Smart is bringing it front and center in the collegiate world.
Smart was asked about his thoughts on the election when he described it as a “slap in the face” to him and his players.
The comments came after Texas’ season-opening win over Incarnate World.
“When someone who is elected who has a history of being hateful, of being racist, of being sexist, of saying certain things that are derogatory toward a certain group, it feels like a slap in the face,” Smart said, via the Austin American-Statesman.
“That’s how some of those guys felt. But you know what, we’re going to have to move forward. They’re not going to do another election. It is what it is and we have to respond the right way.”
While some have been critical of coaches speaking out on politics, Smart understands his responsibility as a coach extends beyond the court.
“I think we have a responsibility to communicate with our guys about the things that are going on in their life,” Smart said. “Unless your head is completely in the sand, this election is one of the things going on in all of our lives this week. Now, maybe some people are completely focused on something else. But I think there is a responsibility to talk about it, see how guys are feeling.”
You can listen to the full post-game comments here.
It is great to see an honest dialogue going around and everyone trying to express how they feel about the situation at hand. After all, if we can’t take the time to learn and understand our differences, the divide will always remain.
The Longhorns return to action Monday, Nov. 14 against Louisiana-Monroe at Frank Erwin Special Events Center in Austin.
Photo Credit: Twitter (@TexasMBB)