Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about his involvement in the Innocence Project. Raptors coach Dwane Casey speaks highly of Popovich's commitment to the project, which was founded in 1992 ,and works to exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing in addition to fighting for reform of the criminal justice system to prevent injustice in the future:
"It's beyond egregious to think about, first of all, how many Americans are in jail in the first place; mostly drug-related, more than anybody in the world. Far more than anybody in the world as far as civilized countries. So that's both unacceptable and embarrassing as a nation. We think that we're exceptional, and in many ways we are. But that's one that we're exceptional in the wrong way. Beyond that, a lot of that incarceration happens to people of color. So it's just an egregious situation. To be there for 15 or 20 or 25 years, being wrongly accused of whatever it might be – rape or murder or whatever the offense – that's mind-boggling. I can't even put my head around that. I don't know how the guys that I've met, I don't know how they've kept their patience and kept their emotions in check, and how they didn't go absolutely crazy knowing that they were innocent and sitting there. So the project is an unbelievable benefit to the people in this country, and everyone should understand what the Innocence Project does, and how some people have been treated. Because it's just beyond the pale, it's just inconceivable."