University of Arizona basketball legend and current coach of the NBA world champion Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr, had some words of advice on a subject near and dear to him — gun violence — following the mass shooting in a Florida high school this week. VIDEO.
Steve Kerr on Florida shooting: ‘Vote people in who actually have the courage to protect’:
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.
“Well, nothing has been done. It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day, in schools. It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. 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 have financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we’ll find enough people, first of all, to vote good people in, but hopefully we can find enough people with courage to 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.
Kerr has previously said gun control should be considered a public health issue.
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.
Kerr is respected and admired as a successful athlete and coach. He should be more respected and admired as a man of conscience who is unafraid to speak truth to power for a cause that is personal to him.
As all U of A Wildcat basketball fans know, Kerr takes gun violence very personally because his father, Malcolm, a university professor, was assassinated in 1984 by two gunmen outside his office in Beirut, Lebanon.
After Wednesday’s shooting in Parkland, Fla., Kerr retweeted nearly a dozen comments about gun violence, including many that urged people to use the power of their votes to changes things.
As the Wildcat’s game announcer used to say, “Steeeve Keeer!” for good advice: vote these people out of office.