Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr refused to talk about basketball before Tuesday night’s playoff game, instead dedicating a news conference to condemning politicians’ inaction on gun laws in wake of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 21 people.
“I’m not going to talk about basketball. Nothing’s happened with our team in the last six hours…any basketball questions don’t matter,” Kerr told reportersat the pre-game press conference.
“In the last 10 days we’ve had elderly Black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in southern California,” he said. “And now we have children murdered at school.”
Raising his voice and pounding on the table in front of him, he demanded, “When are we going to do something?”
“I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there,” he went on, his voice breaking. “I am so tired of the excuses. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”
Kerr condemned “50 senators” — referring to Republicans — who refuse to hold a vote on gun legislation, and cited HR 8, a bill that would expand background checks that has already passed the House.
“There’s a reason they won’t vote on it — to hold onto power,” he said.
Kerr singled out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)In his passionate plea:
I ask Mitch McConnell: Are you going to place your own power over the lives of our children, our elderly, and churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like.
The coach is who won two NBA championships with the nearby San Antonio Spurs as a playerTwenty years ago, he asked those listening to think about their family members. “How would you feel if this happened to you today?” he asked.
“We can’t get numb to this,” he added.
Kerr, who has spoken before about gun violence, was visibly choked up during his commentary. Notably, his father was shot and killed in Beirut in 1984Kerr was just a teenager when this photo was taken.
At least 19 children and at most two adults were killed by the shooter in Uvalde late Tuesday morning. Some parents had to wait several hours until they found out if their children had been among the injured or died.
His grandmother was also shot by the shooter, according to reports.
This marks the 30th anniversary of the shooting at a K-12 school in America this year.