OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and the current divisive trend in American politics.
So away from the court, the Warriors coach has taken part in Bay Area town halls and fronted a “Get Out The Vote’ video on Facebook. On election day, Kerr authored a piece on Sports Illustrated’s website to voice his thoughts about the importance of this election day.
“Last month, after one of our first training camp practices, we had Rock the Vote come in and talk to our team and staff,” said Kerr in a piece co-authored by Chris Ballard. “The group was great. Afterward, seven of our players, two of our assistant coaches, and a dozen staff members registered on the spot. No one asked their political affiliation, or whom they were voting for. That wasn’t the point.”
For personal reasons, Kerr wrote that gun control laws and the lack of them in the United States are of particular importance.
“Among the many issues that matter to me, one stands out in particular: gun safety. I lost my father to gun violence, and I’m disheartened and disgusted by the ceaseless cycle of mass shootings.”
Kerr backed a plan voiced by his players to boycott a visit with Trump in White House after winning the NBA title last season. Trump withdrew the invitation before the team could actually vote on the boycott.
He and San Antonio coach Greg Popovich have both been the strongest critics of Trump and his policies among the NBA coaching fraternity.,
“When I sent in my ballot recently — by mail to my home city of San Diego — I did so with a heavy heart,” he told Ballard. “I love this country and have lived here most of my life. But, like many on both sides of the aisle, I don’t like what’s happening to it right now. I don’t like the direction we’re heading. And I can’t stand the political climate that’s been created.”
His public viewpoint has not come without a price.
“Of course, not everyone’s supportive,” he told Ballard. “When we played in Utah earlier this season, a heckler kept yelling, “What about gun control Kerr?” during the game (It was weird more than anything; what did that even mean?). And I purposely don’t read the responses to my Twitter feed. But that’s okay.”
In closing, Kerr offered some advice to voters about to head out to cast their ballots.
“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, focus just on the issues that matter to you,” Kerr told Ballard. “Do some research and make an informed decision. It is the least we can do, considering people fought, and in many cases gave their lives, for our right to do this.”