Emotional NBA coach Kerr fires up after US school shooting

Source: 1News

An emotional high-profile NBA coach has slammed US lawmakers for their lack of efforts on gun control following Wednesday's fatal school shooting around 600km away from where his team is playing.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, one of the NBA’s leading voices on social issues, gave another emotional plea for gun control after 18 children and three adults were shot and killed Wednesday at a Texas elementary school just hours before Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Kerr entered the pre-game press conference saying he wouldn't talk about basketball, instead launching into an emotional speech directed at US lawmakers.

Kerr said he was “fed up” after the latest mass shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 650km south of Dallas.

“Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed 400 miles from here, and a teacher," Kerr said.

"In the last 10 days, we’ve had elderly black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California, now we have children murdered at school."

He then took aim at politicians who refuse to pass a bipartisan law that would make background checks mandatory for every gun sale.

“They won’t vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power,” Kerr said. “It’s pathetic. I’ve had enough.”

Wednesday's shootings hit close to home for the five-time NBA champion player and three-time NBA champion coach, who lost his own father to gun violence.

Malcolm Kerr, a university professor and president of the American University of Beirut, was fatally shot outside his office in Lebanon on January 18, 1984 when Kerr was 18.

“When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m so tired. Excuse me. I’m sorry. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.

“Fifty Senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage. Do you realise that 90 per cent of Americans, regardless of political party, want background checks, universal background checks? Ninety per cent of us.

"We are being held hostage by 50 Senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we the American people want."

Kerr then left the press conference without taking questions with Golden State playing Wednesday afternoon with a chance of sweeping Dallas and returning to the NBA finals for the first time in three years.

- Additional reporting by the Associated Press