Asked Tuesday about the political divisiveness plaguing the United States, Team USA basketball head coach Gregg Popovich offered his thoughts on the definition of patriotism.
"Patriotism means a lot of things to different people," Popovich said, according to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "There's people who are truly committed in that sense and people who are fake. The show of patriotism I think is a bit inappropriate and that is not something that I think we want to emulate. Because someone hugs a flag doesn't mean they're patriotic.
"Being a patriot is somebody that respects their country and understands that the best thing about our country is that we have the ability to fix things that have not come to fruition for a lot of people so far."
Popovich then brought up Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who's ostensibly been blackballed from the NFL since 2016 after kneeling during the American national anthem as a form of protest against police brutality.
"To negate that part of what we're able to do is ignorant on anybody's part who tries to make those people look unpatriotic," said Popovich, who served in the United States Air Force.
"Like a Kaepernick. That was a very patriotic thing he did. He cared about his country enough to fix some things that were obvious, that everybody knows about but does nothing about."