Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr — along with other NBA players and coaches — hasn’t shied away from speaking freely about President Trump’s rhetoric, including, this week, cracks about the “alternative facts” espoused by press secretary Sean Spicer.
As John Branch reported for the New York Times Magazine in December, Kerr’s personal experience is unique: His family spent time in Beirut and his father, Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated while serving as the president of American University of Beirut in 1984:
Kerr also knows that sports are an active ingredient of American culture. He knows, as well as anyone, that players are complicated, molded by background, race, religion and circumstance.
And Kerr is, too: a man whose grandparents left the United States to work in the Middle East, whose father was raised there, whose mother adopted it, whose family has a different and broader perspective than most. The Kerrs are a family touched by terrorism in the most personal way. Malcolm Kerr was not a random victim. He was a target.
That gives Steve Kerr a voice. His job gives him a platform. You will excuse him if he has a few things to say.
“It’s really simple to demonize Muslims because of our anger over 9/11, but it’s obviously so much more complex than that,” he said. “The vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people, just like the vast majority of Christians and Buddhists and Jews and any other religion. People are people.”