Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr made an emotional appeal for gun control at a Texas school that killed 18 children on Tuesday as the U.S. sports world reacted with horror to the tragedy.
Kerr declined to talk with the Dallas Mavericks about his team’s NBA play-off match at a pre-game news conference hours after a teenage gunman opened fire at a school in Uvala, Texas.
An emotional Kerr, the most outspoken and outspoken voice on social issues in American sports, he pressed his hand to a table as he accused U.S. lawmakers of refusing to vote on a tough gun law to “hold the American people hostage.”
“I’m not going to talk about basketball,” Kerr told reporters before Tuesday’s Eastern Conference final in Dallas. “It simply came to our notice then.
“As we moved closer to the shelling, 14 children and a teacher were killed 400 miles away. In the last 10 days, we’ve killed older black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, we’ve killed Asian churchgoers in Southern California, now we’ve killed children at our school.
Steve Kerr in today’s tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/lsJ8RzPcmC
– Golden State Warriors (Warriors) May 24, 2022
“When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I am very tired to offer my condolences to the bereaved families.
“I had enough. We’re going to play tonight. But I want every person here, every person who is 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?” Asked Kerr, whose father was killed in 1984 by Islamic militants in Beirut.
Kerr has reserved harsh criticism for members of the U.S. Senate who have refused to vote on legislation that would introduce stricter background checks for gun owners.
“Fifty senators are going to take us hostage in Washington,” Kerr said. “Do you understand that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want a background check, a universal background check? Ninety percent of us.
“We have been held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to vote for it despite what we, the American people, want.”
Kerr’s anger was shared by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who called for change.
James wrote on Twitter, “If there are enough people !!!” These kids and we are hurting their school. Seriously, “in the school” where it is considered the safest!
“It simply came to our notice then. Must be !! “
There just has to be change! Must be !! 8 .. Nowadays I am praying to heaven with everyone in school. 3
– LeBron James (KingsJames) May 24, 2022
NFL athletes have also demanded change. Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahoms, who grew up in Texas, wrote on Twitter: “People need to stop … Pray for all Texas families.”
Dallas Cowboys defensive star Demarcus Lawrence has already tweeted directly to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“Who would stand up and claim that we have better protection in all these schools that can’t afford it ????” Lawrence writes. “How come our tax dollars are not going to those who need the most protection ?? !! Our children! Plenty!”
Former Houston Texan icon JJ Watt adds: “The devastation doesn’t even begin to describe it. Terrible news from Texas. “
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