Steve Kerr is not afraid to speak up when he has an opinion, even when matters turn political. It’s one of the many things that makes the coach of the Golden State Warriors so well-respected across the league.
And that was on full display earlier this week, when the NFL announced a new policy regarding peaceful protests during the national anthem. The league decided that players are no longer allowed to sit or kneel during the anthem; they are allowed to stay in the locker room during the anthem, but any sign of protest on the field will be met with a team punishment from the league.
Kerr, not surprisingly, is no fan of the rule (or the league, for that matter). When asked at practice about the rule, Kerr spoke his mind.
Steve Kerr criticized the NFL for its national anthem policy pic.twitter.com/eaCXC5WhCj— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 24, 2018
“I think it’s just typical of the NFL,” Kerr explained. “They’re just playing to their fanbase, and they’re just basically trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism. Nationalism, scaring people, it’s idiotic, but that’s how the NFL has handled their business. I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech, about peacefully protesting, and our leadership in the NBA understands that the NFL players who were kneeling, were kneeling to protest police brutality, protest racial inequality. They weren’t disrespecting the flag or the military, but our President decided to make it about that.”
Strong, and important words from Kerr. And while some were quick to point out that the NBA has an anthem policy requiring standing, commissioner Adam Silver has worked with the players union to see their stances on protests, and help make sure they have a voice. Silver has been very adamant that one of the best things about the league is that the players stand up for what they believe in, and don’t merely stay quiet with social and political issues.
One more reason to love the NBA.