Louisville head coach Rick Pitino expressed his opinions on President-elect Donald Trump after the team’s season-opening win on Friday night as he took a few minutes out of his press conference.
Pitino didn’t go to the lengths that Texas head coach Shaka Smart did when Smart said of Trump’s election, “it feels like a slap in the face.” But Pitino did ask that Trump apologize to John McCain while also getting off of Twitter.
Here’s the full transcript of Pitino’s thoughts on Trump.
“He’s our elected president, and you can protest all you want. He’s not resigning. Look, I’ve got problems with him like everybody does. Everybody in this room has problems with him. And I think the only way to remedy a problem is to find a solution. The first thing I said in the show is, look, I’m going to support the president. Call up John McCain, apologize and then publicly apologize. Because that has upset me since day one. That man was five years in solitary confinement and was beaten. He’s a hero to all of us, and he needs to be apologized to first. … And everybody insulted needs an apology. Then you start fresh and get support.
“Look, I know a lot of people — he belongs to the same club in New York as I do, and a lot of people think he’s a good guy. He had to try to win an election. I wouldn’t want to win in that way, but he had to try to do it, I guess. But the most important thing now is whoever he insulted, call them up and apologize. And then start fresh with everybody. But the first phone call has got to be to those two families. You just gotta call them, because you made a mistake. And he’s not a politician so he’s gonna make these mistakes.
“He should be part of the Louisville basketball team and lose his Twitter account. He should join our team and lose that Twitter account. And then he just needs to call those people up. Start fresh, apologize to anyone he insulted from the Mexican community, say it wasn’t meant. People, when you apologize and you really mean it, they forgive you. But if you don’t apologize, they don’t forget.”
Here is video of Pitino’s thoughts, courtesy of Lyndsey Gough.
Between Smart and Pitino, we’re starting to see more college basketball coaches publicly express opinions on the election. Pitino asking Trump to get off of Twitter is particularly interesting since he does that with his own team. He clearly has beliefs on how the social media platform can change things very quickly.
It’s also worth noting that Pitino has a history of recruiting international and Latino players and he once coached the Puerto Rican national team for a stint as well.