OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr on Tuesday spoke at a rally organized by activists pushing to eliminate the school police force in Oakland, showing his support for the community during what he called “a real reckoning for America.”
The Oakland Unified School District is currently only school district in Alameda County to maintain its own officers.
KPIX 5 reporter Joe Vazquez was at the event and posted video when Kerr spoke after in introduction by McBride, with many of the teenage Black Lives Matter protesters standing up and showing enthusiasm over Kerr’s surprise appearance.
— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) June 23, 2020
Kerr went on to give a heartfelt speech to the people gathered about why he attended the rally.
“I’m here really for one reason. That’s because these last couple weeks especially, but over the past few years, I think there has been a real reckoning for much of America. Especially White America,” said Kerr. “That we have to reimagine the way that black communities are living. That we have to reimagine our support of black communities.”
Kerr continued: “As we’ve watched these horrific crimes in front of our eyes, on TV, I just can’t tell you how many people — coaches, players, and friends — have gathered and talked and asked, ‘What can we do?'”
Kerr noted that he’d participated on a committee with coaches from all 30 NBA teams as well as speaking to a number of players. The uniform response from those people, Kerr explained, was that everyone wants to help the cause.
“Like Pastor Mike said, this is kind of a tipping point. There’s a breakthrough. It’s an important time. For me, it’s been a time of education,” said Kerr. He acknowledged the lessons Pastor Mike has provided before pointing out that the Black Organizing Project has been working towards the elimination of the Oakland Unified School District’s police force for ten years.
“This is what I’ve learned over the last few weeks as I’ve tried to figure things out,” said Kerr. “The answers are in the communities themselves. They don’t lie in some politician’s office, because people are trying to win elections and they’re willing to do anything to win elections. Listen to the people who are in the communities. That’s why I’m here today. Because I want to support all of you.”
Kerr concluded by saying that he and the players miss Oakland, but assured those gathered that the Warriors were not far away and would be there when needed.
The Oakland School Board is set to vote on whether or not to eliminate the school district’s police force on Wednesday.