A “fed up” Steve Kerr delivered an impassioned plea to Republican lawmakers on Tuesday to “do something” in the aftermath of yet another mass school shooting, saying it was “pathetic” that they won’t even vote on a universal background check bill.
Hours after at least 18 elementary school children in Texas were killed by a teen gunman, the Golden State Warriors head coach told reporters at a press conference that he had no desire to talk about his team’s upcoming Western Conference Finals game with the Dallas Mavericks.
“I’m not going to talk about basketball,” an emotional Kerr started the presser. “Since we left the shootaround, 14 children were killed 400 miles from here, and a teacher. 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, now we have children murdered at school.”
Punctuating his speech with table-pounding, the 56-year-old coach—who has been a fervent gun control advocate—called out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP senators for refusing to take action on gun control legislation that has already passed the House of Representatives.
A furious, emotional and fed up Steve Kerr pleaded with senators to do something about the mass shootings. pic.twitter.com/fmERY4izFl
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) May 24, 2022
“When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there,” he exclaimed. “I’m so tired. Excuse me. I’m sorry. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”
Kerr added: “There’s 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on HR8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago. It’s been sitting there for two years. There’s a reason they won’t vote on it: to hold onto power.”
Directly addressing McConnell, Kerr asked the GOP leader and other Republicans: “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.”
His outrage growing, the multiple NBA champion’s voice grew louder as he took aim at Republicans in the Senate over their inaction.
“So I’m fed up. I’ve had enough. We’re going to play the game tonight. But I want every person here, every person listening to this, to think about your own child or grandchild, mother or father, sister, brother. How would you feel if this happened to you today?” Kerr wondered aloud.
“We can’t get numb to this. We can’t sit here and just read about it and go, ‘Well, let’s have a moment of silence. Go Dubs. C’mon, Mavs, let’s go.’ That’s what we’re going to do,” he continued.
“Fifty senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. Do you realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want background checks, universal background checks?! Ninety percent of us,” Kerr shouted. “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 onto their own power. It’s pathetic. I’ve had enough,” he concluded before storming out of the press conference.
The issue of gun control has long been deeply personal for Kerr. His father, Malcolm, who was the president of the American University in Beirut, was assassinated in 1984 when Kerr was only 18 years old.
“That’s why this issue is very near and dear to my heart, because my family had to deal with the loss of my dad and my mom’s husband, and we’ve had to deal with the aftermath ever since,” he said last year while calling for tougher gun control measures following a Colorado mass shooting.