Try telling Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr to stick to sports.
It’s a popular refrain often seen on social media when sports reporters wade into the dubious arena of politics or social justice.
Kerr appeared on a podcast hosted by Mercury News sports columnist Tim Kawakami, a prominent voice in the Warriors’ media who was present throughout the recent NBA Finals. After the typical talk of adjustments not made against the Cleveland Cavaliers and upcoming free agency, Kerr seized the platform and gave an impassioned plea for gun control. The plea comes at the 30:00 mark.
“When 90 percent of our country wants background checks on gun purchases and we’ve got our senate and our house not only voting it down but using the Bill of Rights as a reason for people to have rights to carry these automatic weapons, and we’re getting people murdered every day at an alarming rate,” he said.
Kerr’s father, Malcolm, was assassinated in 1984 at the American University of Beirut.
“I just have to get this off my chest,” Kerr continued. “Our government is insane. We are insane. And what bugs me is this adherence to the right to bear arms, you know. That was back in 1776. People didn’t own automatic rifles. You had to have a musket in case the Redcoats were coming. The British were coming. And the beautiful thing about the Constitution is they left open amendments to change things because things change over time.
“I kind of think that our forefathers would not have ok’d automatic weapons to be sold to everybody if they existed back then. Let’s have some checks. It’s easier to get a gun than it is to get a driver’s license. It’s insane. And as somebody who’s had a family member shot and killed, it devastates me every time I read about this stuff— like what happened in Orlando— and then it’s even more devastating to see the government just cowing to the NRA and going to this totally outdated Bill Of Rights, right to bear arms. If you want to own a musket, fine, you know, but come on. The rest of the world thinks we’re insane. We are insane.
“And until we vote these senators and congressmen and women out of office, the same thing’s gonna happen. And it’s infuriating and I had to get that off my chest.
“You wonder if any of these Senators and Congressmen and women who are so opposed to even holding a vote on not only the right to buy an automatic weapon but just the background checks and the lists and all the stuff, how would they feel about this if their own child, their own mother, their own father, sister, brother, wife, husband was murdered. Mass murdered. Would that change your mind? I don’t know but how many times do we have to go through this before our government actually does something about it?”
The Orlando nightclub shooting occurred just a day before Game 5 of the NBA Finals. A moment of silence was held prior to tip-off.
“It was very emotional,” Kerr told The New Yorker. “I was thinking of my dad.”
“It’s very personal because you’ve gone through it. You understand how much they are suffering, just like how our family went through that suffering. When you think of it, all of those statistics have names and these names have faces. They are peope who are now lost.”