Kerr, Popovich slam ‘gutless’ lawmakers after mass shootings

Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich slam ‘gutless’ lawmakers after mass shootings: They need to get ‘off their asses’

Ryan Young | Yahoo Sports

A pair of mass shootings rocked the nation over the weekend, leaving more than 30 dead and dozens more injured in two cities across the country.

A suspect opened fire inside a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday morning, leaving 22 people dead and injuring dozens more in the Mexican border city. Just hours later across the country, another shooter opened fire at a bar in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people died, including the alleged shooter’s sister, and 27 were injured.

The El Paso shooting marked the deadliest of the year, and the Dayton shooting marked the 251st mass shooting this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Sunday was just the 216th day in the calendar year.

Kerr: Somebody could ‘start spraying us with an AR-15’

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, one of the most outspoken coaches in the NBA, spoke about the mass shootings on Monday at USA Basketball training camp in Las Vegas. Kerr, one of coach Gregg Popovich’s assistants for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, is a longtime advocate for gun control in the United States and is constantly using his platform to raise awareness on the issue.

Gun control, he said, is always in the front of his mind.

“Somebody could walk in the door in the gym right now and start spraying us with an AR-15,” Kerr said, via the Bay Area News Group. “They could. It might happen because we’re all vulnerable, whether we go to a concert, a church, the mall or go to the movie theater or a school.

“It’s up to us as Americans to demand change from the gutless leadership that continues to allow this to happen and continues to somehow claim the second amendment is doing its job. The Second Amendment is about the right to defend yourself. The only thing that Second Amendment is doing is leading to mass murder right now. This is all just insanity.”

Kerr’s Twitter feed has been full of posts and reposts calling for stricter gun control, criticizing Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) since the shootings.

Though he’s clearly frustrated with the lack of action in Congress, Kerr does think change is just around the corner.

“It’s going to happen. The momentum is building,” Kerr said, via the Bay Area News Group. “People are more and more frustrated in our country. I think at this point, the vast majority of people in this country have had it. Now it’s a matter of taking action.”

Kerr did make it clear that he doesn’t have an issue with guns as a whole. It’s the assault-style weapons that he feels, like so many others in the United States, don’t belong in the hands of the public.

“A lot of my friends have had guns. They’ve had them in gun lockers. It was kept safely away. They weren’t carrying around AR-15’s,” Kerr said, via the Bay Area News Group. “They had hunting rifles. This is not what it’s about. This is not about someone’s ability to own a gun.

“It’s about someone’s ability to have a military style assault rifle with huge magazines. The cops got there in Dayton in one minute after the shooting started. In one minute, the shooter was killed from what I gather. But he killed nine people in one minute because of the gun and the weapon he had. We’re really going to say as Americans we should allow him to carry an AR-15? It’s ridiculous.”

Popovich: Lawmakers need to get ‘off their asses’ and do something

Kerr will be by Popovich’s side when USA Basketball heads to China for the FIBA World Cup later this month. Popovich, who is just as outspoken as Kerr, was asked Tuesday if he thought the team could be a welcome distraction for the country in the wake of the latest shootings.

While he didn’t discredit that idea, he had a much more blunt request of lawmakers instead.

“I think that, you know, the situation we’re all living in now, everybody looks for a little bit of distraction in some way, shape or form,” Popovich said, via Eric Woodyard of the Desert News.

“It’d be a lot better if people in power got off their asses and got something done

Though he knows USA Basketball can’t realistically solve any problems in the United States with its performance in the FIBA World Cup — regardless of how they do in the tournament, which kicks off on August 31 and runs through September 15 — Popovich at least hopes they can be a model for the country to build off of.

“We can’t fix the divisiveness in our country,” Popovich said Monday, via the Washington Post. “But what we can do is be a great example of how people can come together for a common goal and achieve it.

“It’s our responsibility to not only become the best team we can be, but it’s the way we conduct ourselves with USA on our shirts. We’re representing a lot of people.”


76ers’ Simmons felt ‘singled out’ entering casino

Casino ‘strenuously rejects’ that it racially profiled Ben Simmons, who doubles down on claim

Jason Owens | Yahoo Sports

Early Monday, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons posted an Instagram story implying that he and his friends were racially profiled by security at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.

In the video, Simmons and a group of his black friends said they got “checked” by security with some being denied entry. The lone white friend in the group said that security did not check him.

Casino ‘strenuously rejects’ Simmons’ claim

On Tuesday, Crown responded with a fervent statement denying that race had any factor in Simmons and his friends being “checked” by security, that they instead experienced a routine ID check for a casino that doesn’t allow patrons under the age of 18 to enter.

“Crown strenuously rejects reports that it discriminated against a group of visitors last night,” the statement reads. “Crown’s internal security policy requires our security officers to check identification of those persons they believe to be under the age of 25, this is an enhanced safeguard to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is permitted entry to the casino floor as required by law.

“The group subsequently provided identification and were permitted entry. Crown is an inclusive workplace.”

Simmons is 23 years old.

Stories differ on whether Simmons was denied entry

The most glaring conflict in the opposing accounts of what happened is over whether Simmons and his friends were eventually allowed access to the casino floor.

Simmons claims that part of his group was denied access. The casino refutes that account.

“I find it so crazy that the only guy who doesn’t get checked to go into the casino is this guy,” Simmons said while pointing his phone at his unnamed white friend. “I get checked, Mike gets checked and Taj gets checked. Thank you Crown Casino.”

“And they didn’t let me in. Or him. Or this guy. Wow. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Simmons felt ‘singled out’

Simmons addressed the incident again on Twitter Tuesday, claiming that he “felt personally singled out.”