Warriors head coach, former Spur Steve Kerr sounds off on gun violence after church shooting

Kerr says gun violence is 'a public safety, health issue'

(Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

OAKLAND, Calif. – Warriors head coach and former Spurs player Steve Kerr sounded off gun control on Monday in the aftermath of the mass church shooting in Sutherland Springs.

Kerr is one of the most outspoken head coaches in the NBA and often speaks publicly about political and social issues.

Kerr was asked about gun violence before Golden State’s game against Miami. The video and transcript was first posted by The Athletic's Anthony Slater.

“First I want to express my condolences to the people involved, victims and survivors, the people directly affected. It’s just awful, that’s the prevailing sentiment from all of us today. To solve it, I think we almost have to look at it like a public health issue. I think too often, we get caught up in political rhetoric, 2nd amendment rights, NRA stuff. We have to look at this as it has nothing to do with partisanship or political parties. It’s got to be a public safety issue, a public health issue. I read a great article today that talked about comparing this to the automobile industry. Apparently in the 1950s, about nine or 10 times more people then died in auto wrecks than die right now. So what changed over 70 years? Safety measures, right? Speed limits, auto regulations, seatbelts, car seats, driver’s license registration and making sure people deserve to drive. All these things are safety issues, and I think we somehow have to get our government to cut through all the crap and get right to the point — the point of fact, which is safety. Which means a lot of things that we can do without taking away people’s 2nd amendment rights. Let’s do the sensible thing. But our government has to lead the way and they can’t just cave into the NRA just because the NRA wants to make money. They have to put people’s safety and health over the interest of the gun lobby and the gun industry. Doesn’t seem like it would be that far of a stretch, but for whatever reason, were paralyzed and we are unable to do anything to protect our citizens. It’s disgusting and it’s a shame.”

Kerr is familiar with the South Texas area and played for the Spurs from 1998 to 2001 under head coach Gregg Popovich.

He calls Popovich his mentor and has taken many cues from his former head coach and now good friend.

On Sunday, Popovich chose not to discuss basketball after the Spurs game in the wake of the tragedy. The Spurs also held a moment of silence before their game against the Phoenix Suns.

At least 26 people died on Sunday morning when a gunman walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and began shooting.

Authorities said 20 more were wounded and ten remained in critical condition as of Tuesday morning.


About the Author:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.