Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed disappointment and chagrin at President Donald Trump’s ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, issued in an executive order on Saturday. You can read much more about it here.
Kerr is in a unique position: not only is he the coach of the highest profile team in the NBA, but his father was a victim of terrorism when Kerr was a freshman in college. He also spent much of his childhood living in the Middle East, where his father was a professor and later president of the American University of Beirut.
Kerr called Trump’s executive order the “wrong way to go about it,” expressing concerns that this will actually help grow terrorism and make America less safe. Here are his full thoughts, as told to the media on Sunday.
Here’s a transcript of what Kerr said.
“I would just say that as someone whose family member was a victim of terrorism, having lost my father, if we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, (it’s) really going against what the principles of what our country’s about and creating fear. It’s the wrong way to go about it. If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror and so I’m completely against what’s happening. I think it’s shocking. Horrible idea, and I feel for all the people who are affected, families are being torn apart. I worry in the big picture to what it means to the security of the world. It’s going about it completely opposite. You wanna solve terror, you wanna solve crime, it’s just not the way to do it.”
Asked if the team has discussed the immigrants ban: “We’ve talked a lot about various issues. We didn’t talk today or yesterday about what has been happening around the country just with our schedule of game but our guys talk a lot about this stuff.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who has spoken out against Trump’s presidency several times already, also criticized the ban.
“As you already know, I have lots of thoughts about what we’ve done to ourselves as a country and what we’ve allowed to happen,” Popovich told reporters on Sunday. “But we’ll see where this goes. Obviously the rollout today was Keystone Kops-like by any measure with objectivity. Whether you want to say it’s good or bad is irrelevant. But it was Keystone Kops, and that’s scary.”
The NBA has had to ask the State Department how the ban will affect several players, including two who are South Sudanese. (Sudan was listed as a country, but it appears South Sudan citizens have not been affected.) Several players from a number of different sports have also spoken out.