Donald Trump

Warriors' Steve Kerr speaks out on pipe bombs scare: 'It's a dangerous time'

Warriors' Steve Kerr speaks out on pipe bombs scare: 'It's a dangerous time'

Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters in New York on Friday he was "a little bit" concerned for his safety in light of the bomb scare targeting prominent liberal lawmakers and figures.

But Kerr, an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and proponent of gun control, said that Americans have to be concerned for their safety every day.

"I think we should all be concerned, no matter who you are, you need to be concerned," Kerr said Friday, ahead of the Warriors' game against the New York Knicks. "Not just of the bombs, but somebody shooting you. That's the country we live in these days. Innocent people get killed. Innocent people get shot. It's a dangerous time to be alive right now."

At least 13 suspicious packages were addressed to Democratic politicians, donors, and media figures in recent days, including CNN's New York offices, President Bill Clinton and first lady Hilary Clinton, President Barack Obama, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA),  and prominent Democratic donor Goerge Soros. On Friday, Cesar Sayoc, Jr. was arrested in Florida in connection to the bombs. Sayoc, a registered Republican, owned a van contained stickers criticizing the "dishonest media" and praising President Trump. He was charged with five federal criminal counts. 

When asked by a reporter, Kerr said he has not considered extra security measures.

"It's really sad," Kerr said. "It kind of speaks to where things are in the political atmosphere these days. But, I have not done anything like that."

Warriors, Cavs unified with Eagles against Trump: Will be nice to 'get back to normal...in three years'

Warriors, Cavs unified with Eagles against Trump: Will be nice to 'get back to normal...in three years'

CLEVELAND -- As the polarization of America intensifies behind the pugnacious conduct and inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump, much of the sports world continues to stand its ground and, in some cases, call out the president.

On eve of Game 3 of the NBA Finals here Tuesday, one day after Trump disinvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, members of the Warriors and Cavaliers addressed the growing gulf between the socially conscious athlete and the current occupant of the White House.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was particularly vocal, saying that he would support his players if they decided to protest social injustice during the national anthem.

“Yeah, of course,” Kerr said. “Because you have to understand that what players have protested is not the military. They're protesting police brutality and racial inequality. So if any American wants to protest that anytime, that's their right as Americans. That's what the military fights for, is free speech. So I would be perfectly fine with any of our players doing so.”

Kerr, referring to the spat between Trump and the Eagles, also distilled the American sociopolitical climate to its essence.

“It’s not surprising,” Kerr said. “The president has made it pretty clear he’s going to try to divide us, all of us, in this country, for political gain.

“So it’s just the way it is. And we all look forward to the day when we can go back to having a celebration of athletic achievement and celebrate Americans for their achievements, their good deeds.

“The irony is that the Eagles have been nothing but fantastic citizens in their own community,” Kerr added. “They've done so much good. I've read a lot about their team. Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long -- these guys are studs. They're amazing."

Acutely aware of Trump’s policies, critiques of black athletes and ties to white nationalism, Stephen Curry and the Warriors decided last September that they would not embrace an invitation to celebrate their 2017 title in the White House.

Nothing has changed. If anything, the resistance movement is becoming more influential in sports. Curry reaffirmed his stance, while Cavaliers star LeBron James spoke for both teams.

“I know no matter who wins this series,” he said, “no one wants the invite anyway. So it won't be Golden State or Cleveland going.”

Said Curry: “I agree with LeBron. Pretty sure the way we handled things last year, kind of stay consistent with that. But at the end of the day . . . every team has an opportunity to make a decision for themselves and speak for themselves. I think that's powerful, being in this situation.”

NBA champs began visiting in 1963, with NFL teams in the late 1970s. By the 1980s, under President Ronald Reagan, all teams were coming to celebrate with the president.

The general consensus is there will come a time when championship teams once again routinely visit the White House.

“So it will be nice when we can just get back to normal,” Kerr said. “In three years.”

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 124, Cavs 114 (OT)
Game 2 Warriors 122, Cavs 103
Game 3 Cleveland -- Wednesday, June 6 at 6pm
Game 4 Cleveland -- Friday, June 8 at 6pm
Game 5 Oakland -- Monday, June 11 at 6pm
Game 6 Cleveland -- Thursday, June 14 at 6pm
Game 7 Oakland -- Sunday, June 17 at 5pm

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?

Anybody?

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?

Anybody?

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?