Warriors head coach Steve Kerr issued an open letter after Donald Trump announced that Golden State was no welcome at the White House, and called protesting NFL players “sons of bitches.”
Kerr urged the American president to remember that he works for the entire country, and to consider the consequences of his inflammatory and divisive comments.
— Chris Stone (@SI_ChrisStone) September 24, 2017
Kerr told Trump that it’s his job to unite the country.
“Look, I’m a basketball coach and what I do obviously pales in comparison to what the president does. But our jobs are similar in at least one respect: If you want to be an NBA coach, you need to be prepared to be criticized. You kind of know that going in. If I coach poorly and we lose the game, I hear about it. That’s okay. It’s really where we coaches earn our money, accepting and dealing with criticism and keeping the ship moving forward. There has to be an inherent understanding when you enter into any public position of power that this is what happens. People are going to take shots at you and it’s incumbent upon you to absorb those shots. Maybe you respond diplomatically, but you maintain a level of respect and dignity. What you can’t do is just angrily lash out. Can you imagine if I lashed out at all my critics every day and belittled them? I’d lose my players, I’d embarrass ownership, I’d embarrass myself. Pretty soon I’d be out of a job. It’s a basic adult thing that you learn as you grow up: People aren’t always going to agree with you. And that’s OK.
“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. And they’re doing it in a nonviolent way. Which is everything that Martin Luther King preached, right? A lot of American military members will tell you that the right to free speech is exactly what they fight for. And it’s just really, really upsetting that the leader of our country is calling for these players to be ‘fired.’
“Remember, the president works for us, not vice versa. We elected him. He doesn’t just work for his constituents and his base. He works for every citizen. Once you take that office, you have to do what’s best for the entire country. Sure, you’re going to have policies that align with your party, but that’s not the point. Respectfully, Mr. Trump, the point is this: You’re the president. You represent all of us. Don’t divide us.
“Bring us together.”