Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was openly critical of United States President Donald Trump's controversial immigration ban following his team's 113-111 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
Chris Haynes of ESPN.com shared Kerr's comments:
"As someone whose family member is a victim of terrorism, having lost my father [Malcolm Kerr, a university professor, was murdered in 1984 in Beirut]—if we're trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, we're really going against the principles of what this country is about and creating fear," Kerr said.
He continued: "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. I think it's a horrible idea, and I feel for all the people who are affected—families are being torn apart.
"And I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world. It's going about it completely opposite. You want to solve terror, you want to solve crime. It's not the way to do it."
Trump signed an executive order Friday that banned immigration from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia for 90 days. He banned immigration from Syria indefinitely. The order has led to chaos and confusion at airports countrywide.
United States Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham added (more available here): "Our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation.
"It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump's executive order was not properly vetted. We are particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security."
This is not the first time Kerr has spoken out against Trump. Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said of Trump, "I don't think anybody can deny this guy is openly and brazenly racist and misogynistic," per the Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis.
Kerr referenced those remarks and added this, per Ethan Strauss of ESPN.com (more available here): "I thought it took a lot of guts for Stan to say what he did and, you know, I think a lot of us feel similarly. For me, probably the biggest disappointment with this whole election was the level of discourse. There should be some level of decorum, respect and dignity that goes with the election of the presidency, and it's like it went out the window."
Anthony Slater of the Mercury News described Kerr as someone with a "unique, worldly background" who "has become a sought-after voice in this polarizing political climate." He used that voice to give "an impassioned plea for gun control" on Tim Kawakami's podcast. Kerr also discussed gay discrimination in the NBA while appearing on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
Kerr wasn't the only NBA coach to criticize Trump for his executive order. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich—who has six international players on his current roster—said, "The roll-out 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 Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the league contacted the State Department to assess the order's impact on players who are from the seven countries included. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in response, "The NBA is a global league, and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world," per Wojnarowski.
Kerr's frontcourt in Golden State is an example of that with Brazil's Anderson Varejao and Georgia's Zaza Pachulia.