Here’s a sentence you would never have expected to read a few years ago: There may be no group in America that speaks more sanely about current events than basketball coaches.
Gregg Popovich has delivered sermons on institutional racism and Donald Trump’s “cowardice,” Stan Van Gundy has flatly condemned the president. Steve Kerr has weighed in thoughtfully on Middle Eastern policy and immigration. And on and on.
On Monday, Kerr again offered his latest treatise on current events. This time the subject was gun violence, in the wake of this week’s mass shooting in San Antonio. Kerr suggested we look at mass shootings like a “public health issue,” absent of partisanship. He advocated for increasing safety regulations while preserving Americans’ rights to bear arms.
Steve Kerr's full quote today on gun control pic.twitter.com/90SxEGRK3H
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 7, 2017
None of what Kerr said is revolutionary, but for many people it means a lot to hear it from a public figure they know and respect. Right or not, celebrities and sports personalities have a lot of sway over their fans, and Kerr (and his NBA coaching colleagues) deserves applause for willingly using his platforms to affect public opinion on important issues. Many coaches would talk around a question about gun control. Kerr embraced it.
So although it still seems bizarre that we regularly ask basketball coaches for their opinions on national tragedies, Kerr, Popovich and others keep rising to the moment in a way many politicians don’t. Popovich/Kerr 2020 probably won’t become a reality, but we can at least dream.
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) June 2, 2017