Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was in no mood to talk about the playoffs on Tuesday and instead delivered a desperate plea against gun violence following the latest mass shooting in the United States.
Kerr was attending his usual pre-game news conference prior to Game 4 of the Conference Finals between the Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks and started by declaring he would not discuss basketball.
The Warriors head coach, whose father was shot dead in a terrorist attack in Beirut in 1984, instead spoke about the shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday where it was confirmed at least 19 students and two adults were killed.
Kerr, who was visibly emotional, directed his anger at senators for refusing to pass legislation requiring background checks on people before their purchase of firearms.
"Any basketball questions don’t matter. Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed, 400 miles from here and a teacher," Kerr told reporters, before banging his hands on the table and yelling: "When are we going to do something?
"I'm tired. I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I am tired of the moments of silence. Enough!
"There's 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on H.R.8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple of years ago that's been sitting there for two years. There's a reason they won't vote on it, to hold on to power.
"I ask you [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence, the school shootings and the supermarket shootings, I ask you are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of children and our elderly and our church-goers. That's what it looks like."
Steve Kerr on today's tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas. pic.twitter.com/lsJ8RzPcmC— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 24, 2022
Kerr called for fans to deeply consider the victims and not desensitise themselves to another mass shooting, with the game still to be played.
"We can't get numb to this," Kerr said.
"We can't sit here and just read about it and go 'well let's have a moment of silence, go Dubs'. 'C'mon Mavs, let's go'."