Steve Kerr has been a longtime vocal critic of Donald Trump and the rise of reactionary politics. Recently, he took time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance on the political podcast “Pod Save America,” where he was interviewed by Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior advisor to President Obama.
You can listen to the whole podcast here:
[The interview with Kerr starts at minute mark 56:12 but, yeah, the rest of it is probably worth your time as well.]
I’ll talk about some of Kerr’s larger points below, but this specific part of the interview was quite interesting:
Kerr: “What it’s going to take, is the next person in office — regardless of party — to be dignified and presidential and respectful, and setting a good example. I don’t know if that’s quite going to solve everything but it certainly would go a long way.
What bothers me more than anything is a lack of dignity in politics, whether it’s Trump or many others with a voice. And I think that’s where we are going to go off the rails, and we have to get back on the rails. We need people who are respectful, dignified, able to communicate, and show empathy and compassion. Those are all huge things, and in fact these days it’s probably the President’s main job, because it’s really hard to get anything done in Congress. As you can tell, even with a Republican Congress, Republican President, we still can’t get anything done. So, it’s not about party lines. It’s about the President doing his job, and being empathetic, and being articulate, and expressing himself, and trying to unite and trying to bring people together.
The next person in that chair needs to be that way, regardless of what party he’s in or she’s in.”
Kerr also talked about the non-surprise of Trump disinviting the Warriors from a White House Visit.
Kerr: “It didn’t surprise me. We had been debating for a couple of months what we would do in terms of, would we visit the White House or not? If we did, how would we want it to unfold? There had been some back channel communication between the White House and our organization, and so were sorting through it all. But before we could get to anything, the President beat us to the punch, so to speak. And not really that surprising that he would say that or lash out because that’s kind of his way.”
Pfieffer: “And do you think you guys probably would not have gone, had he not done that?”
Kerr: “I don’t think we would have gone. And I think he knew that.”
Kerr also said that this is the most trying, dangerous-feeling moment of history that he can recall in his life. He also delved straight into one the most pressing problems facing us, namely the willful dissemination of disinformation and hatred via social media.
Kerr (responding to why he feels that our world is in a moment of crisis now): “I think it’s a lot of different things. I think it’s foreign policy decisions for sure, but social media, the way the world works now, the fact that everybody can just tweet hatred, the fact that there’s so much BS out there. For example, you know as a sports fan, the Kaepernick stuff has been really interesting to follow, and Michael Bennett from the Seahawks comes out and he talks about his incident in Las Vegas when he was arrested by the cops. There’s all these conflicting stories. You get on twitter and there’s a picture of Michael Bennett in the Seattle locker room with all of his teammates around him urging him on, and he’s holding a burning American flag.
Well that didn’t happen. Right? But this is just the way of the world now. It gets a million likes and retweets and somebody just doctored it and faked it, and that creates anger. And so, there’s a lot of forces at play, but the world has never operated like this, where people’s emotions can be dictated by fake crap. And that part is really scary.”
Kerr also goes on to address rumors of himself and Gregg Popovich running for office in 2020, what it means to have worked with such great leaders throughout his career, and what lessons he has gleaned from those leaders and how he translates those lessons into his approach to coaching the Warriors and his approach to living life.
As always, Steve Kerr has proven himself an eloquent, intelligent, delightful man. In these trying times, he possesses a clear-headedness that is refreshing and insightful. I wish this interview had been twice as long. I could listen to Kerr pontificate, joke, and ruminate forever.
Let us hope that his vision of our next leader proves true. This country needs more people like Steve Kerr in positions of prominence.