Frank Martin hid under his shirt when asked about politics, then gave a surprising answer

South Carolina men’s basketball coach Frank Martin faced a question he wasn’t quite prepared for on Monday, but he handled it.

A reporter took the occasion of Presidents Day to ask the coach what he would do if his team won a title and one of the players refused a visit to the White House. Martin, at first, hid. Right under his T-shirt.

But after hiding, he pulled his shirt down and offered an explanation: That he hoped his players would see that the United States is not run by one person, and they can celebrate the country and its progress while not agreeing with that one person.

Transcript via For The Win:

“I haven’t thought about it. Probably not. Probably not. I haven’t agreed with every president that’s been in the White House in my lifetime. But I love this country and I love what this government stands for as a whole.

“I’m not going to judge our country based on who I like or don’t like. I think we do an injustice to young people when we make them think this country is run by one person. I think it’s an injustice. And any time we take a stand against one person — we can do whatever we want to here. I’m not trying to tell people how to do things. You’re asking me my opinion — I’m kind of sharing it with you.

“I think we do an injustice. The beautiful thing in our country is that we all have different voices. And we can all express our voices and our views. I think I would be disappointed if any of our players chose not to attend. If they were adamant about it, I’m not going to force them to go. I’m not going to put their scholarship on the line and make them do something that they feel that strongly about. But I would let them know as their coach, as the guy who tries to mentor them, I’d try to educate and try to prevent that from happening.

He went on:

“But at the end of the day, they’re human beings. They don’t live in a country where you’re forced to do what you don’t want to do. I’d be OK coaching someone who would be against it. I would just be disappointed in their unwillingness to understand that this country has moved forward — contrary to what the media wants to get us to believe. We haven’t moved backwards. We’ve moved forward is the last 50 years. Since my family arrived in this country, this country has moved forward. Does it move forward at a great rate, great pace? Is it perfect? No. But it’s moved forward.

“For us to act as if one person runs or controls the decisions of this country is false. I think it would be a disservice to what this country stands for — what we’re about. My love for what this country has given me. For me, to get selfish because of my personal views on one person and not be supportive of the thing as a whole.”