Ahead of Duke’s first NCAA tournament game on Friday, coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked about the game being moved out of North Carolina due to the state’s House Bill 2, known as the “bathroom bill,” which discriminates against transgender people. At first, he deflected, saying he didn’t want to “get political.” Then he said this, per USA Today Sports:
“It would be nice if our state got as smart and also would host not just basketball tournaments but concerts and other NCAA events. But maybe we’ll get there in the next century, I don’t know. We’ll see. Look, it’s a stupid thing. That’s my political statement. If I was president or governor I’d get rid of it. And I’d back up my promises. As unusual as that might be. Anyway, I don’t want to get too political.”
It’s not the first time Coach K has spoken out against the bill—last year he called it embarrassing—and, of course, there’s nothing “political” about pointing out bigotry and discrimination for what it is. But public figures, including coaches, often face pressure to be “objective” and throw out meaningless, neutral platitudes when it comes to social issues. At least Krzyzewski didn’t do that.