Donald Trump

Is anybody listening? Steve Kerr and the sports world louder than our leaders

Is anybody listening? Steve Kerr and the sports world louder than our leaders

Steve Kerr is hurt and disillusioned and angry. He is completely fed up with government inertia in the face of epidemic gun violence that frequently manifests itself in mass shootings such as that which occurred Wednesday in Florida.

The Warriors coach is on this subject among the broadening chorus of voices, every one of them existing in a vacuum.

Everybody hears it, every time, but those within power structure never listen, for if they truly did they would take responsible preventive action.

In the wake of this latest tragedy it was evident Kerr, even as he prepared to coach the Warriors against the Trail Blazers in Portland, was particularly shaken.

His visage wore the news of another unhinged soul shooting up a school. At least 17 are dead, the vast majority of them students at Majory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. And the casualty count is likely to rise.

“Nothing has been done,” Kerr said with visible contempt. “It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death, day after day, in schools. It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. It’s not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country, to actually do anything. And that’s demoralizing.

“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they’ve financed their campaign.”

Yes, he went there. Kerr urged American voters to seek out and support political candidates independent of the powerful National Rifle Association and, therefore, willing to generate momentum toward enacting responsible gun laws.

He barely bothered to address the current government, opting instead to plead with the voting public. Is anybody listening?


There is every indication that voices such as that of Kerr will not be silenced. He spoke passionately and from personal experience. His life was touched by gun violence in the most extreme fashion when his father, Malcolm, an educator, was assassinated at a school in Beirut 34 years ago last month.

Kerr is not alone in this quest for action. Many others joined in.

Former player Steve Nash, a Warriors consultant bound for the Hall of Fame, expressed his feelings on Twitter: “The rest of the world is having success prohibiting access to guns. I don’t see what the debate is about. It’s not working here. People are dying at alarming rates. If you value guns more than life and safety I don’t understand.”

Jared Dudley, a member of the Phoenix Suns and one of more respected veterans in the NBA, spoke up via Twitter: “So sad man! Gotta change theses Gun laws! I’m tired of the slogan guns don’t kill people only people kill people.. Change the Law!”

Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell kept his message to six words, printing “End gun violence” on his right shoe and “Pray for Parkland” on his left.

Mitchell’s mother is a teacher.

Here’s Tom Garfinkel, CEO of the Miami Dolphins: “How do we stop this? When will there be proactive change from our government leaders to address the complexity of why this keeps happening? Praying for those affected in Parkland. And Orlando, and Columbine, and Sandy Hook, and every other senseless and tragic shooting.”

And former NFL player Damien Woody: “I’m just over here thinking about how we as a society use the term ‘pro life’ . . . days like today doesn’t do it justice.”

And Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, quote tweeting the obligatory “prayers and condolences” tweet from President Trump: “Yea.. but the fact is that they AREN’T safe. Just more rhetoric and no action. WAKEUP!!!!”

Is anybody listening?


Wednesday was the 45th day of this calendar year -- and the 18th school shooting. Quick math tells us that equals two every five days, 10 every 25 and 20 every 50.

Many children of color grow up with violence. Studies have proved that the experience traumatizes them to varying degrees. There are neighborhoods all across these United States in which children are as afraid of law enforcement as they are of street gangs. It’s how they grow up.

The powerlessness and apprehension is growing each day. And each time our elected leaders choose to look the other way while holding open their duffle bags to accept NRA cash, the sense of despair gets deeper.

How many children will go to school today and tomorrow and all the days after that feeling anxieties they should not have to bear in a so-called civilized society?

They’ll be looking over their shoulders. They’ll be wondering about the student whose temper is a bit too quick and hot. They’ll be trying to avoid the student who is too much of a loner or makes threats. They’ll be wary of the bully and the bullied. They’ll be trying to escape those that pose with firearms on social media.

The despair is real, and if you look into the eyes of the young you can feel it.

“Hopefully, we’ll find enough people first of all to vote good put people in,” Kerr said. “But, hopefully, we can find enough people with courage to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semiautomatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It’s disgusting.”

Kerr is among those willing to speak up and advocate for change. There are others. And they will be joined by many more who will make it their mission to follow the example of most every civilized society.

If the horrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, a single day, could persuade our government to take steps to make air travel safer, how many deadly events does it take to grow the principle and power to say no to the NRA and yes to the safety of children?

Is anybody listening?

Kerr speaks out on Alabama senate selection, 'decency needs to win out'

Kerr speaks out on Alabama senate selection, 'decency needs to win out'

OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr is not a frequent tweeter, and when the Warriors coach does engage on Twitter rarely is it related to basketball.

It wasn’t on Tuesday, either, when he posted a pair of two-word tweets that made it obvious he had taken a side in the highly publicized and very contentious Alabama senate race between Doug Jones of the Democratic party and Republican Roy Moore.

The first Kerr tweet: “Roll Tide.”

The second: “War Eagle.” 

Both came shortly after it was announced that Jones had won the election.

“I couldn’t resist,” Kerr said, before turning facetious. “It’s bowl season. I’m a big SEC football fan.”

Roll Tide is the slogan affiliated with University of Alabama sports, while War Eagle is affiliated with Auburn University, also in Alabama.

“Decency needs to win out,” he said. “This has nothing to do with party affiliation. We need high character people in our positions of leadership. And the more decisions like this we can make, where we choose character over party, we choose country over party, the better off we’re going to be.

“I was very pleased. It’s a good sign. As a country, we need to get away from the partisan divide and start focusing on just quality people, getting good people in positions of leadership. And iron out our difference and promote unity and not try to separate this country. It’s critical.”

President Donald Trump was in support of Moore despite credible allegations from numerous women, saying they were victims of sexual misconduct and assault when they were children. News reports out of Alabama indicated that Moore’s predilection was known by many and has been for years.

Jones, by contrast, was best known as the District Attorney who in the late 1990s successfully prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members that participated in the bombing of a Birmingham church in 1963, an act of domestic terrorism that killed four black girls, none more than 14 years old.

“Today is a really important day,” Kerr said. “It’s all about high character and values and the way you treat people. I don’t care -- Democrat, Republican, Independent -- had we put a known pedophile in the senate, what would that have said about us?

“Let’s get to the point where this is all about us, and not them. It’s about leadership and character and morality. Let’s be better.”

Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant

Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant

MEXICO CITY – The President of the United States has taken several shots at players who choose to sit during the national anthem.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was in his crosshairs early Monday morning.

Trump was bothered by Lynch’s actions before Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca.

Lynch sat for the United States’ national anthem, as he has in every game this season. Then he stood for Mexico’s anthem, though he spent most of that song getting his equipment adjusted.

The President took exception in a Twitter rant that has become a staple of his presidency.

It is believed that Lynch is sitting in protest of racial inequality, a movement popularized by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, though he has never declared that publicly. He refused to answer questions on that topic this summer.

As a point of clarification, Lynch was not booed. Anthems for both countries were cheered at NFL's annual contest held in Mexico City, with large flags for both countries displayed on the field. 

He wore a black t-shirt that read "Everybody vs. Trump" heading into a Week 4 matchup at Denver, a week after the President took on the NFL's anthem protests at a rally in Alabama. 

"Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” Trump said on Sept. 22. "You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, “That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.” And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country."

Trump has blasted the NFL several times since on social media, and Lynch is his latest target. This time, Trump demanded Lynch be suspended the rest of the season should he sit again. The league won’t do that.

Trump won’t get his way, but with a quick tweet he brought the issue to the Raiders’ doorstep in what will become a topic in Alameda all week.

Lynch was probably asleep when Trump’s tweet went public at 5:25 a.m. ET, but still hasn't responded in any way.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was asked about Trump's tweet regarding his running back, and never addressed it directly. He reiterated his anthem preferences instead. 

"My stance on the whole thing with Marshawn and all of our players, I’ve told them how I feel," Del Rio said. "I love this country. I think it’s a great honor to be able to play football, coach football for a living. My thought is that everybody should pay respect to the flag and stand at attention. That’s how I feel about it. But it is America, and everybody can make their choice, and I’ve made that clear, too."

Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted support for Lynch, easily Oakland's most popular resident. Lynch consistently performs charitable works in his hometown, and champions Oakland at every turn.