Doc Rivers on Donald Trump’s election victory: ‘Don’t get mad, go do something’
Doc Rivers walked into his pregame press conference with a smile on his face Wednesday evening, and immediately paired that with confidence and optimism.
“The sun came up this morning, and there was a time late last night where I wasn’t sure that was going to happen. But it did,” Rivers said. “And we’re all going to be OK, everyone. We’re all going to be OK.”
Rivers was blatantly referring to Tuesday night’s election, which ended with Republican Donald Trump being voted the next president of the United States. Two of Rivers’ veteran players — point guard Chris Paul and guard Jamal Crawford — discussed Trump’s victory at the team’s practice facility on Wednesday afternoon.
Seven or so hours later, ahead of the Clippers’ 7:30 p.m. matchup with the Trailblazers, Rivers offered his perspective.
First, Rivers was asked how sports can serve as an outlet for Americans who may want to turn their attention away from the election.
“Well, I think sports should have helped us before the election. I think, never underestimate your opponent is the one thing that I saw from the beginning. And honestly … I guess President Trump — that’s the first time I’ve said that, oh boy — he was underestimated,” Rivers said.
“He really was, from the beginning. I think we talk about in sports every night, don’t underestimate your opponent. And after defeat the sun comes back up and you get back to work. In the political process, the way to get back to work is actually go out and vote instead of protest. A lot of people didn’t vote, and then they wake up the next morning and they’re upset, you know? I think the one thing this thing taught me again is how powerful the vote is. It’s extremely powerful. Rural America went out and voted. Inner-city America did not, and you could make a case that people in inner cities didn’t want to vote because there’s not been a lot of change for them. And they’re tired of voting, they want some action. That’s what I saw last night.”
Rivers was asked if Trump being president could potentially keep future NBA champions from visiting the White House, which has become a tradition for teams that win major American championships.
“No, that’s overreacting. Listen, Donald Trump is going to be fine, all right? As president. That’s something I never thought I’d have to say, honestly,” Rivers said. “But at the end of the day he will be, because I just believe America overall works. There’s a Congress, and a Senate, and it’s going to work out. But if you don’t like it you have two years from now to change it, not President, but you have change.
“You can change the Congress, you can change the Senate. So if you don’t like it, change it. And you change it by either running for office or voting. So I think that’s the way.… Don’t get mad, go do something. I say that to my players all the time. Do something about it. That’s my thing right now, go do something about it if you want change.”
Rivers then paused and a silence settled in the room.
“We shouldn’t even talk about basketball today,” he said, flashing his smile again before fielding basketball questions.
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