LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr have different approaches to the game of basketball, but on social and political issues, they often walk in lockstep.
On Tuesday at Team USA basketball training camp, the Popovich was asked about the mass shooting that took place in both El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend that killed over 30 people.
“It’d be a lot better if people in power got off their a--es and got something done,” the Spurs coach said.
Kerr was asked a similar question and had no problem expressing his opinion on the subject as well.
“When you have 97 percent of the people in the country that want universal background checks and the senate ... not won't pass it, won't even vote on it because Mitch McConnell won't allow them to vote on it because the NRA has bought him off, then you have a problem,” Kerr told media members in Las Vegas, Nev.
“I think that’s the issue,” the Kerr continued. “We have to have elected leaders who are willing to value human life over their own jobs and their contributions from the NRA.”
Senate Majority Leader McConnell wasn’t the only person Kerr was asked about. When pressed on what he would say to President Donald Trump, if given an opportunity, the Warriors coach shook his head.
“Nothing, I wouldn’t bother talking to him,” Kerr said.
An outspoken proponent of gun safety and gun reform, Kerr is involved with the Brady Campaign, the Sandy Hook Promise and March for Our Lives campaigns and has no problem discussing difficult subjects with the media in the past.
He’s used his platform as a successful NBA coach to voice his opinion on a multitude of subjects and clearly isn’t shying away from the questions.
But apparently not 'sickening' enough to actually do anything about it, huh Mitch? https://t.co/DbHSxgKUIi— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) August 5, 2019
Following the main media scrum, Kerr took a moment to discuss the difficulty of talking basketball one moment and then wrestling with an important social or political topic the next.
“The only reason I talk about that stuff is because I’m passionate about it,” Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. “If you asked me about mechanical engineering I wouldn’t know what the hell I was talking about and I wouldn’t answer it.”
“If you want to talk to me about gun safety measures or political rhetoric, I’m very interested in that stuff,” Kerr added.
Like Popovich, Kerr seems to have found his voice. Kerr's father, Malcolm, was assassinated by gunmen in Lebanon in 1984 and the Warriors coach has not shied away from expressing his opinions on gun control. Kerr has a platform and he is using it to express his beliefs.
“I’ve grown a lot more comfortable speaking about it as I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser,” Kerr said. “I don’t know if that’s true - I can’t hold my tongue sometimes and I’m always getting in trouble, but I think now is the time when all of us as Americans have to speak out and have our voices heard and let our elected officials know that what’s happening in so many cases is unacceptable. We’ve got to hold them accountable to protect us and so I encourage everybody to speak strongly for what they believe in.”
Sticking to basketball is no longer an option for Kerr. Love it or hate it, that is his right as a US citizen.