Steve Kerr is not sticking to sports.
The Golden State Warriors head coach who is seldom hesitant to speak his mind on non-basketball issues was asked Wednesday his thoughts on the shooting at a Florida high school earlier in the day that has left at least 17 dead, the latest in a plague of U.S. mass killings perpetrated by citizens with access to military-style assault rifles.
Kerr was blunt in his criticism of federal lawmakers, the National Rifle Association and a White House whose national security priorities focus on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day,” Kerr said. ” … It’s not enough apparently to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country to actually do anything. That’s demoralizing.
“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they’ve financed their campaign for them. … Hopefully we can find enough people with courage to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semiautomatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It’s disgusting.”
Kerr’s statement will rile up the stick-to-sports crowd. But Kerr doesn’t care.
Like San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who spoke candidly on Monday about racism in the U.S., Kerr recognizes that he has a tremendous platform that extends beyond the bounds of a basketball court. He also is employed by a progressive sports league that sees no need to muzzle its coaches and players from speaking on important issues.
Kerr has clearly made the decision that alienating fans who don’t want to hear him talk about anything but X’s and O’s is a small price to pay for advancing a just cause.
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