Donald Trump has attacked various NBA and NFL players during his term, and Steve Kerr is the most recent person to criticize those actions.
On Saturday, Trump rescinded Stephen Curry‘s invitation to the White House, and then later expressed his wishes for NFL owners to fire any player who “protested” the flag by kneeling during the national anthem. Warriors coach Steve Kerr got asked about all of that, and he brought the heat. (If you want to see actions that are disrespectul to the flag, Twitter user koopa_kinte put together an incredible thread using the points from the United States Flag Code.)
“No matter how many times a football player says, ‘I honor our military, but I’m protesting police brutality and racial inequality,’ it doesn’t matter,” said Kerr on Saturday during an interview with ESPN. “Nationalists are saying, ‘You’re disrespecting our flag.’ Well, you know what else is disrespectful to our flag? Racism. And one’s way worse than the other.”
The Warriors planned on meeting as an organization to discuss going to the White House. It would’ve been an excellent opportunity to meet with the President and express their views to him, but Trump is too immature to allow that to happen.
“The idea of civil discourse with a guy who is tweeting and demeaning people and saying the things he’s saying is sort of far-fetched,” continued Kerr. “Can you picture us really having a civil discourse with him?”
Politics in the NBA are nothing new. Whenever there is any sort of issue regarding social injustice, racism or inequality, the players, coaches and commissioner are always forward in addressing it. Kerr, for example, has routinely spoken out about Trump. LeBron James, before calling him a “bum,” called him a “so-called President” after he failed to condemn the neo-Nazi attacks in Charlottesville.
Since taking office, Trump has shown on multiple occasions that he’s not someone who can engage in civilized dialogue, and the thought of a black person speaking out (Jemele Hill, Stephen Curry) enrages him even more, hence the withdrawal of Curry’s invite to the White House and the calling of Hill to be fired from ESPN. Kerr came to the defense of his two-time MVP, sounding flabbergasted that the leader of the free world wouldn’t want to hear world champion athletes, people who have some of the biggest platforms in the world.
“It was an actual chance to talk to the president,” said Kerr. “After all, he works for us. He’s a public servant. He may not be aware of that, but he is a public servant, right? So maybe as NBA champions, as people in a prominent position, we could go in and say, ‘This is what’s bothering us, what can we do about this?'”
The NBA and the NFL are the two biggest sports leagues in America. Trump, while dividing the country, has managed to bring fans and athletes of both leagues together to fight for a cause — equality. Neither league has had players this socially conscious since the days of Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown.
Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry and the other hundreds upon hundreds of athletes and citizens pushing back against the oppression of minorities knows that sticking to sports is no longer an option. In recent days, the gentlemen mentioned above have echoed the sentiments of many, and their lack of reluctance is invaluable.
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