Steve Kerr’s comments on the school shooting spoke for all of us

Steve Kerr’s comments on the school shooting spoke for all of us

Steve Kerr is aware of the terrorist attacks.

He lost his father 38 years ago in a terrorist attack.

Steve Kerr knows what happened in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday afternoon was another terrorist attack.

Except that this time, the terrorists are us, and we will apparently do nothing to stop them.

“I’m not going to talk about basketball…all basketball matters don’t matter,” the Golden State Warriors coach said to begin his press conference Tuesday night before Game 4 of the Western Conference final in Dallas against the Mavericks. “Since we left the shooting, 14 children have been killed, 400 miles from here. And a teacher. And in the last 10 days, elderly black people have been killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, Asian worshipers have been killed in Southern California and now children have been murdered in school.

His watery eyes. His voice thickens. He tapped his palm three times on a table. His words became a cry.

“When are we going to do something?

It was the startling opener to an incredible three-minute rant about another senseless shooting, another preventable tragedy, another collection of tiny innocents turned into corpses because our leaders lack the courage to pass the laws. that could help protect them.

Stay in sport? You can paste this “Stick to sports”.

Shut up and dribble? How about shut up and listen?

Following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary, which claimed the lives of at least 19 children and two adults as well as the life of the 18-year-old shooter, Kerr spoke on behalf of much of the America in its greatest pre-game speech.

Sport may be trivial, but people pay attention to those who practice and train sports.

Sport might be a silly game, but people notice when suddenly the leader of the most popular team in one of the most popular leagues in this country refuses to talk about this game.

What Steve Kerr did on Tuesday night mattered because you could hear his heart, feel his emotion and share his pain.

It was important because he knows what he is talking about, his father having been assassinated in a terrorist attack in Beirut in 1984.

It was important because it moved away from the path usually occupied by coaches who are supposed to be the bastions of calm, who aren’t supposed to slap their palms on a table for anything other than protesting a bad call.

Certainly, Kerr has spoken on this issue before. Doc Rivers wept over social justice issues. Gregg Popovich hasn’t been afraid to call for societal change. NBA coaches have long been more open and transparent than coaches in other sports.

But never has a sports leader been so loudly honest, angry and defiant at such a fragile time.

It was the perfect time. In three short minutes, Kerr reflected the frustration of millions.

Amid the familiar images of yellow stripes and crying families, America needed someone other than a politician to shake us by the shoulders and reinforce the madness of it all. At his best, Kerr was that someone.

“I’m tired,” he said. “I’m so tired of getting up here and offering my condolences to the devastated families out there. … I’m sorry, I’m sick of the moments of silence, enough is enough!

Instead of talking about pick and roll, Kerr focused on HR 8, a bill that calls for tougher background check rules for gun purchases. He called on Republican senators to make the bill a reality.

“There’s a reason they won’t vote on this, to retain power,” Kerr said. “So I ask you [Senate minority leader] Mitch McConnell, I ask all senators who refuse to do anything about violence, school shootings and supermarket shootings. I ask you: will you put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children, our elderly and our worshippers? Because that’s what it looks like. That’s what we do every week. »

Kerr acknowledged the obvious, that everyone expresses outrage when shootings occur, but then forget about it until the next shooting. He pleaded with America to keep fighting for change.

“I’m fed up, I’ve had enough,” he said. “We’re going to play the game tonight, but I want everyone listening to this to think of your own child…how would you feel if this happened to you today…we can’t numb ourselves…we can’t go sit here and just read about it and say, ‘Well, let’s have a moment of silence. Yeah go Dubs, go Mavs, let’s go! That’s what we’re going to do… and 50 senators in Washington are going to take us hostage.

He banged his fist on the table.

“That’s pathetic,” he yelled before getting up and storming out of the conference room without answering any questions. “I had enough.”

What he said.

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