Golden State coach’s father was killed in Beirut by gunmen – Ronda Rousey and Gregg Popovich also attack president’s policy
The Guardian / Monday, January 30, 2017
Steve Kerr has joined the chorus of voices in the NBA that have attacked Donald Trump’s ban on travellers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.
On Sunday, the Golden State Warriors coach said the president’s executive order had personal resonance. “I would just say that as someone whose family member was a victim of terrorism, having lost my father, if we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, by really going against the principles of what our country is about and creating fear, it’s the wrong way of going about it,” said Kerr whose father, Malcolm, was killed by two gunmen in 1984 while he was president of the American University of Beirut. Islamic Jihad, a precursor of Hezbollah, later claimed responsibility for the murder. “If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror. So I’m completely against what’s happening.”
Trump’s policy has led to stories of families being separated, while critics of the ban – including Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham – say it could play into the hands of groups such as Isis.
“I think [the policy] is shocking. It’s a horrible idea,” Kerr said. “I feel for all the people that 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, this is not the way to do it.”
The San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich, also spoke about the ban on Sunday. “As you already know, I have lots of thoughts about what we’ve done to ourselves as a country and what we’ve allowed to happen,” Popovich told reporters. “But we’ll see where this goes. Obviously the rollout 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.”
Athletes from other sports attacked the ban. The US soccer captain, Michael Bradley, wrote on Instagram that “the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.” The former UFC champion Ronda Rousey posted a cartoon of the State of Liberty on Instagram with the message: “The plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! #resist”