Warriors coach Steve Kerr slams desk and shakes in anger in speech over Texas shooting

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Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr refused to talk about basketball in a pre-match press conference and instead delivered a passionate speech condemning gun violence in the United States. Kerr banged the table, frequently trembled, and teared up as he launched into a plea for senators to back a bill that would require stricter background checks on people buying firearms. 

Earlier in the day, 14 children and a teacher had been killed in the deadliest elementary school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012. Kerr ranted at senators and called out minority leader Mitch McConnell for refusing to back a vote on H.R.8. 

Kerr refused to take any questions on basketball. His team later lost their play-off match against the Dallas Mavericks in Texas – where the shooting had also occurred. “I’m not going to talk about basketball, nothing has happened with our team in the last six hours. Any basketball questions, they don’t matter,” Kerr, whose father was killed by a gunman in 1984, started.   

“Since we left, 14 children were killed 400 miles from here – and a teacher. In the last 10 days, we’ve had elderly black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo. We’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in southern California. Now we have children murdered in school.”

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Kerr’s tone then completely alters as he yells: “When are we going to do something?” As his bottom lip trembles, he continues: “I’m tired, I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough. 

“There are 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on H.R.8 – a background check rule that every household that the house passed. It’s been sitting there for two years. There is a reason they won’t vote on it: to hold onto power. 

“So I ask you, all the senators, Mitch McConnell, please do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings. I ask you: Are you going to put your own desires for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like. It (talk about violence) is all we do every week. 

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“I’m fed up, I’ve had enough. We’re going to play the game tonight, but I want every person here and every person listening to this to think about your own child or grandchild. Or your mother or sister or brother. 

“How would you feel if this happened to you today? We can’t get numb to this. We can’t just sit here and read about it and go, ‘Well, another moment of silence’.  

“We’re going to go and play a basketball game while senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. Do you realise that 90 per cent of Americans, regardless of political party, want universal background checks?

“We are being held hostage by 50 senators who are refusing to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want. They won’t vote for it because they want to hold onto their own power.” 

Kerr then stands up and goes to storm out of his press conference, shouting: “It’s pathetic, I’ve had enough!”

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