Warriors coach Steve Kerr never has been one to check his social conscience at the door, so when asked before facing the Nets Sunday night at Barclays Center for his reaction to the mass killing on Saturday at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, Kerr spoke in support of gun control legislation. He said the shooting was symptomatic of a “broken” country and said he will be voting for candidates who will oppose the National Rifle Association.
“It’s just devastating,” Kerr said of a shooting that claimed the lives of 11 victims and left six others wounded. “I just expect it now, and that’s the sad thing . . . that’s where we’ve gotten as a country. We’re broken right now. Nothing surprises us anymore, whether it’s shootings at schools, churches, synagogues, malls, movie theaters. We need our leaders to step up, unite the country with the appropriate words, the appropriate actions, and we’re not getting that right now. It’s frustrating.”
Kerr and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have spoken out regularly on political topics, and both have been outspoken critics of the Trump administration. Kerr explained his activism as a matter of being comfortable using his NBA platform to discuss social issues, and he praised LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and members of the Warriors for speaking out.
“Everybody can have influence, not just our political leaders, but people who are well-known figures who have a camera in their face a lot or average citizens just being kind to each other, being nice to one another, not spewing hatred on social media,” Kerr said. “Those are all things we have to think about and try to accomplish to get our country back on track.
“I want to urge everybody to get out and vote on Nov. 6. My personal issue is gun safety, gun control. Nobody in this country should have a semi-automatic weapon of war. That’s my personal belief.
“I’m going to vote for every candidate that’s willing to stand up to the NRA and say, ‘You know what? This is insane. We’re murdering each other every day.’ We have to get rid of bump stocks; we have to get rid of high-capacity magazines; we have to get rid of semi-automatic weapons.
“Other countries don’t go through this. That’s the issue that’s most important to me, and those are the candidates that I will be voting for, the ones who are willing to stand up and say, ‘You know what? This is wrong. We’ve got to protect our fellow citizens and protect our country.’”