Two hours before his Golden State Warriors hit the field in Game 4 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals, Steve Kerr declined to answer questions about basketball. The only thing on the Warriors head coach’s mind was the lives lost in a senseless mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas hours earlier, a few hours earlier from where Kerr sat in rage from the Center’s podium. American Airlines 355 miles away.
The shooting at Robb Elementary School claimed the lives of 21 people live as of Tuesday night, including 19 kids.
“When are we going to do something!? I’m tired of being here and sending my condolences to the devastated families out there. I’m tired of moments of silence. Full!” said Kerr, visibly shaken and frustrated.
Kerr referred to HR8, the bipartisan Background Check Act of 2021, which all 50 Republicans in the US Senate have refused to hold a vote on.
“There’s a reason they didn’t vote on it, to stay in power,” Kerr said. “So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all the senators who refuse to do anything about the violence, the school shootings and the supermarket shootings, I ask. Are you – are you going to put your desire for power before our lives, kids? Of our elderly and churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like. That’s what we do every week.”
Kerr has felt personal tragedy due to gun violence. In 1984, his father, Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated while serving as president of the American University of Beirut. Throughout his coaching career, Kerr has been outspoken about preventing gun violence. Uvalde lies about halfway between the Mexican and San Antonio border.
“I’m bored, I’ve had enough. We will play the game tonight. But I want every person here, every person to hear this, think of your child, or grandchild, mother, father, sister, brother, how would you feel if this happened to you today. ? ‘ Kerr said. “We cannot be numb to this. We can’t just sit here and just read about it and go ‘Come on, let’s have a little silence. Go to Dubs. Come on Mavs, let’s go. ‘ That’s what we’re going to do. We will play a basketball game.
“Fifty senators in Washington will take us hostage. You realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, want a universal background check, 90 percent of us. We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even vote, despite what the American people want. They won’t vote because they want to keep their own power. It was horrible. I’ve had enough.”
Kerr isn’t the only one in the sports world to speak out after Tuesday’s mass shooting.