Menu

Coach K Criticizes President Obama’s Military Strategy-Truth! & Outdated!

Coach K Criticizes President Obama’s Military Strategy-Truth! & Outdated!

Summary of eRumor:
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) criticized President Obama’s military strategy to deal with the ISIS terrorist group.
The Truth:
This one is true, but it’s also outdated.
Coach K grabbed headlines in September of 2014 when he commented on President Obama’s military strategy while accepting an award at the Association of the U.S. Army conference. The Daily Beast reports that Coach K told the conference:

“I know it’s upsetting to many of you when you hear ‘no boots on the ground.’ It upsets me too, because that’s like saying I’m not going to play two of my best players. Because that’s what you are trained to do. And for decades and decades, the fact that we are a free country and we don’t play home games here is a result of having boots on the ground. That’s the problem.

“It’s about letting your opponent know we are going to use our best players. And whether we use them or not, that’s up to the coach. You never tell your opponent you are not going to use (them), like I’m not going to play Grant Hill, J.J. Redick, Christian Laettner.”

When national media outlets picked up the story in November of 2104, Coach K backed off and said that he didn’t criticize President Obama’s military strategy, the Charlotte Observer reports:

“I’m passionate about the United States military and always will be an amazing supporter of the military. On that night nothing was ever said about President Obama, and nothing was ever said about ISIS. In fact, I hate even saying that word.

“I do not hate saying the other word because I love President Obama. It’s amazing that it happened three weeks ago and on Election Day something is brought up and said in a way that I didn’t say. So be it.”

It’s true that Coach K never specifically said “Obama” or “ISIS” in his remarks, but it seems obvious where his remarks were aimed. At the time, the term “boots on the ground” was at the center of national debate about the U.S. response to ISIS.
This eRumor first appeared in 2014, and it reappeared after Duke won the NCAA national championship in 2015. Some were led to believe that Coach K made the comments after the national championship game, but that wasn’t the case.