The NBA is in the middle of their conference finals. Whoever wins the next two series will meet up in the big final championship. Right now, the Golden State Warriors are facing the Dallas Mavericks, so the last thing Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr wants to talk about are guns. Kerr has been very outspoken about our elected officials’ impotence in the face of gun violence tragedy after gun violence tragedy. He’s previously called for the electorate to use their vote to elect officials who follow the will of the people and pass even the most basic gun safety legislation, which Is popular nationwide: universal background checks.
Before Tuesday night’s game, in the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Kerr came before the media, as is required of coaches in NBA championship games. Kerr quickly made it clear that this press conference wasn’t going to be routine: “I’m not going to talk about basketball, nothing new has happened with our team in the past six hours,” he said. Instead, Kerr spoke with a righteous fury about the need for real action on guns. With the news that more than a dozen young children and adults had been murdered in their school by some asshole with an easy-to-get gun or guns, Kerr used his platform to blast those senators too chickenshit to save children’s lives.
RELATED STORY: Uvalde, Texas: At least 18 students killed, gunman dead in elementary school shooting
Kerr began by explaining himself: “Tonight, any basketball questions don't matter. Since we left shoot-around, 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 and now we have children murdered at school. When are we going to do something?”
Kerr pounded the table in front of him, visibly furious. “I’m tired, I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired—I’m sorry—of the moments of silence. Enough!”
Kerr then broke it down as simple as possible. “There’s 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on H.R. 8.” The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 passed through the House, and has been ready for the Senate for a long while now. “It's been sitting there for two years and there's a reason they won't vote on it: To hold on to power. So I ask you Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators, who refuse to do anything about the violence in school shootings and supermarket shootings, 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. It's what we do every week.”
Kerr reiterated how fed up he is with this dark dance, where he speaks to the press, sends out condolences to families, and then goes to coach basketball. He expanded on why he’s finished with “moments of silence,” noting that we can’t be “numb” to what’s happening, we can’t just go have a moment of silence and then root for our teams—not without really reminding ourselves to put ourselves in the places of the families that have lost everything in these senseless massacres.
“Fifty senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. You realize that 90% of Americans, regardless of political party, want universal background checks? Ninety percent of us. 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.”
Universal background checks are, indeed, universally popular among Americans, and has been for years.
And then Kerr spat out the last part with a distaste that most people reading this will recognize they share with the coaching legend: “It's pathetic! I've had enough!”