Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr blasted senators for not doing enough to pass gun control legislation, following the deadliest school shooting in the US for nearly a decade.
In an emotional news conference hours after a gunman killed at least 19 pupils and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, Kerr — who is known for being vocal on social justice issues and whose own father was murdered by gunmen in Lebanon in 1984 — said he didn’t want to talk basketball as his team prepared to play the Dallas Mavericks.
“When are we gonna do something?” said Kerr, as he punctuated his words by banging on the table. “I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”
Kerr called out the “50 senators right now who refuse to vote on H.R. 8” in order to “to hold onto power,” mentioning Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by name. H.R. 8 is a bipartisan bill passed by the House of Representatives in March 2021 which would require background checks on all gun sales.
Legislation to tackle guns in the US has been repeatedly stymied in Congress, with lawmakers reluctant to act on bills requiring even modest restrictions and background checks. The influential gun lobby argues that such measures are a restriction of the constitutional right of Americans to own firearms.
“All of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence in school shootings and supermarket shootings,” said Kerr, “I ask you, are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like.”
Other National Basketball Association figures spoke out after the shooting. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted, “There simply has to be change! HAS TO BE!!” Speaking at a pre-game news conference, Dallas Mavericks’ coach Jason Kidd also expressed anguish at the event which he said “could take place with any of your family at school.”
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