Steve Kerr Writes Article to Donald Trump, Says Protest Comments 'Crushed' Him

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12:  Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors looks on during a 2017 Summer League game between the Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Golden State won 77-69. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke about Donald Trump's decision to revoke the team's invitation to the White House on Sunday, as told to Chris Ballard of SI.com.

An excerpt from Kerr's comments follows:

"I’ve been fortunate enough to meet President Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama. I didn’t agree with all of them, but it was easy to set politics aside because each possessed an inherent respect for the office, as well as the humility that comes with being a public servant in an incredible position of power, representing 300 million people. And that’s the problem now. In his tweet to Steph, Trump talked about honoring the White House but, really, isn’t it you who must honor the White House, Mr. President?"

"Would we have gone? Probably not. The truth is we all struggled with the idea of spending time with a man who has offended us with his words and actions time and again. But I can tell you one thing: it wouldn’t have been for the traditional ceremony, to shake hands and smile for cameras. Internally, we’d discussed whether it’d be possible to just go and meet as private citizens and have a serious, poignant discussion about some of the issues we’re concerned about. But he’s made it hard for any of us to actually enter the White House, because what’s going on is not normal. It’s childish stuff: belittling people and calling them names."

Kerr added:

"Instead, we get Trump’s comments over the weekend about NFL players, calling them 'sons of bitches' for kneeling during the anthem. Those just crushed me. Crushed me. Just think about what those players are protesting. They’re protesting excessive police violence and racial inequality. Those are really good things to fight against."

Kerr also noted in the essay that he felt people in positions of power shouldn't "lash out" when criticized, but rather should react diplomatically and maintain a level of "respect and dignity." He called America an "amazing" but "flawed" country and noted that it was the responsibility of all Americans to try to make the country better by promoting "awareness and understanding and acceptance."

He concluded by noting that Trump works for all of the citizens of the United States, not just those who voted for him, before imploring the President, "Don’t divide us. Bring us together."

Alongside revoking the Warriors' invitation to the White House on Saturday, Trump also said he believed that NFL players who protest during the national anthem should be kicked off the field or fired. The NFL players taking a knee or raising a fist have maintained that they are protesting police brutality and the mistreatment of minority citizens and not protesting against the flag or military. 

That prompted a league-wide condemnation of Trump's remarks and massive demonstrations before every NFL game Sunday, with many teams locking arms in solidarity during the anthem. 

On Sunday, meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced in a statement that they would be attending the White House, noting that "any agreement or disagreement with a president's politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways. However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit."