Legendary Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski criticized American politicians Thursday amid widespread mass shootings in the United States.
Speaking at SiriusXM's Town Hall with Coach K event (h/t Steve Wiseman of the Herald-Sun), Krzyzewski made mention of last month's mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, as well as a 2018 mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue:
"For us to see these kids get killed, members of our African American community get killed in a grocery store, members of our Jewish community getting killed in a synagogue. Come on. That's not right. That's not right. That's not right. I mean it's amazingly wrong. It's amazingly wrong. And you should be ashamed of yourself, if you are in a position of power."
Nineteen children and two teachers were shot and killed at a Uvalde elementary school last month, just 10 days after 10 Black people were shot and killed at a Buffalo supermarket by a suspected gunman who allegedly posted a racist document online before the shooting.
Both suspected gunmen were 18 years of age and used AR-15-style rifles in the attacks.
Krzyzewski, who served in the Army before his coaching career at Army and Duke from 1975 to 2022, suggested that there should be regulations against automatic weapons, saying:
"The people that are suffering are people that need you. Like, why don't you? Come on. You know? What the hell are we doing? You know, we're not taking care of our people. And we can go into the guns. Like, you need an automatic weapon? You gotta be kidding me. You got to be kidding me. It's disgusting."
The 75-year-old Krzyzewski also called for less partisanship and more focus on policies that will help the American people: "You shouldn't vote for the party, you should vote for the people that you serve. And you should have the guts, the courage, and it's your duty. It's your duty to do that. We are not doing that duty at the national level when our country is suffering greatly from it."
Krzyzewski has never been shy about speaking out regarding significant issues in the country. In 2020, Coach K called for an end to systemic racism and social injustice in the United States following the murder of 46-year-old Black man George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.
By virtue of winning five national championships at Duke, Krzyzewski has long been considered one of the best leaders and most respected voices in sports.
Even after retiring at the conclusion of the 2021-22 college basketball season after 47 years as a college basketball head coach, that remains true.