Sports | September 25, 2017 8:37 am

Steve Kerr Responds to Trump’s Comments: ‘Don’t Divide Us’

In his own words, Kerr explains why the Warriors won't visit the White House.

Steve Kerr
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) walks past head coach Steve Kerr during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Steve Kerr, the head coach of the NBA-champions Golden State Warriors, took to Sports Illustrated to share his own thoughts and feelings about President Donald Trump “withdrawing” the team’s White House invitation.

After All-Star Steph Curry spoke to the media on Friday, saying that he will vote no on Warrior’s trip to the White House, Trump tweeted that the invitation had “been withdrawn” because “Steph Curry is hesitating” and “going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.”

In his piece in Sports Illustrated, Kerr points out that, first of all, Curry was never hesitating. He had made it very clear that he wouldn’t go. Kerr also said that it felt like Trump was “trying to break up with us before we broke up with him.”

Kerr goes on to say that he has met many presidents over the past years, including Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton and Obama. And while he did not always agree with them on everything, they were able to set politics aside because “each possessed an inherent respect for the office.” He also said that each of them understood and respected the “humility that comes with being a public servant in an incredible position of power.” But Trump? By tweeting at Steph, he is not honoring the White House, Kerr says, because the way to do that, is to have compassion and dignity and to “stay above the fray.” But instead, Trump caused the fray.

Kerr says that to be honest, the team probably wouldn’t have gone, because they have been offended by Trump time and again. But Kerr did say that the team had discussed the possibility of going as private citizens and discussing some of the issues they’re concerned about. However, Kerr says that have a poignant, serious discussion would probably not happen because what is going on inside the White House — “childish stuff” — is not normal, and that makes it hard for any of them to “actually enter the White House.”

Kerr writes that being a coach and being president have some similarities in the sense that you “need to be prepared to be criticized.” You must maintain a level of dignity and respect when responding to those criticisms, and you just need to understand that it is okay when people don’t agree with you.

Kerr also writes about Trump’s comments over the weekend about NFL players, in which he called them “sons of bitches” for kneeling during the anthem. Kerr said it “crushed” him, because the players are protesting really important things, like police violence and racial inequality.

The coach then questions where to go from here, and says that there is “no need to get into a war of words.” Kerr says that we live in an “amazing country, but it’s a flawed one.” He feels incredibly lucky to live here, and he loves his country. Therefore, it his “our responsibility to try to make it better.” One way to do that, Kerr writes, is to promote “awareness and understanding and acceptance.”

Kerr ends his piece by reminding readers the “president works for us, not vice versa.” Kerr calls on Trump to do better: You’re the president. You represent all of us. Don’t divide us. Bring us together.”