Warriors

Warriors' Steve Kerr regrets 'embarrassing' 2019 China-Hong Kong comments

Warriors

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey caused significant controversy last October when he tweeted, and quickly deleted, “stand with Hong Kong” in support of protests happening in the city.

The tweet caused a firestorm in China, putting the NBA and some of its players in an awkward position, given the league's lucrative business relationship with the country. 

Warriors coach Steve Kerr -- who was asked about the issue a couple of days later -- now wishes he handled his response differently.

"That was a really, really uncomfortable position to be in," Kerr told Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos this week on KQED's "Political Breakdown" podcast. "China has been a partner in the NBA -- and across America with thousands of companies -- so all of a sudden, when the human rights issues really are being exposed and you're asked about it, it's like, 'Oh, wait a second.' 

"I was sort of deer in the headlights when I was asked about it. And I think it caught a lot of us by surprise. I handled it horribly. I regret my answer to this day. I sort of gave it 'no comment,' and then said something else. It was really embarrassing.

"But that's part of the deal when you're part of the public eye and you choose to speak out. You have to take that. You gotta be ready. You're gonna screw up sometimes."

 

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So what were Kerr's original comments?

"It's a really bizarre international story, and a lot of us don't know what to make of it," he said to reporters. "So it's something I'm reading about just like everybody is, but I'm not going to comment further than that.

"What I've found is that it's easy to speak on issues that I'm passionate about and that I feel like I'm well-versed on, and I've found that it makes the most sense to stick to topics that fall in that category.

"So I try to keep my comments to those things, and so it's not difficult. It's more I'm just trying to learn."

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