An emotional and angry Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, ripped U.S. lawmakers Tuesday, hours after at least 18 children and one adult were killed by a lone gunman in Uvalde, Texas.
The 18-year-old gunman is also dead, police said. Uvalde is about 80 miles west of San Antonio.
Kerr was speaking to media as is typical before his team played the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at American Airlines Center at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Steve Kerr on today's tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/lsJ8RzPcmC
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 24, 2022
But Kerr didn’t take any questions. Instead he unleashed a furious and teary-eyed plea to senators to pass universal gun background checks.
“When are we going to do something,” Kerr said, raising his voice as he banged his hand on the dais. “I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
Kerr railed against lawmakers who refuse to pass background check rules.
“There are 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on H.R. 8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple of years ago,” he said. “It’s been sitting there for two years. And there is a reason they won’t vote on it: To hold onto power.”
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 was introduced Jan. 8, 2019, and passed the House, but the Senate has refused to vote on it.
“I ask you, (Senate minority leader) Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings,” Kerr said. “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. That’s what we do every week. I’m fed up. I’ve had enough. We can’t get numb to this.”
Kerr’s father, Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated while serving as president of American University in Beirut in 1984.
“Ninety percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want universal background checks,” Kerr said. “We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote despite what, we the American people want. They won’t vote on it because they want to hold on to their own power.”
Kerr raised his voice again before walking out of the media room. “It’s pathetic. I’ve had enough,” he said.