Golden State Warriors coach: 'It's my responsibility to speak' against gun violence
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Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, said at a town hall on Monday that it’s his responsibility to speak out against gun violence following last month's mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

"I'm not here because I'm the Warriors coach. Actually I am, because I wouldn't have been invited. I'm here because I'm a citizen of this country and we're a democracy and when people say stick to sports, stick to coaching, that means nothing," Kerr said Monday at a California high school.

"I feel like it's my responsibility to speak on something that's very important to me."


The NBA coach said he understands how the families feel, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. When Kerr was an 18-year-old college student, his father, Malcolm, was assassinated in Beirut.

“I know what it feels like,” he said. “I know how the Parkland families feel or the Aurora families or Sandy Hook.”

Kerr was joined by Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push House progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna: 'I'm not there yet' on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) and 20-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alum Matt Deitsch, the Chronicle reported. 

Khanna praised Kerr for utilizing his platform to advocate for an important cause.

“His courage is not to be underestimated,” Khanna said. “It’s so unusual to see someone of his stature take a stand on a political issue. It speaks to how important and personal it is to him.”

Deitsch’s two younger siblings survived the Feb. 14 massacre at his former school by hiding in closets. The shooting left 17 dead and more than a dozen injured.

“I don’t represent Congress,” Deitsch said. “I don’t represent one of the most stacked teams in NBA history. I’m here to represent 17 people who died. I’m here because my sister spent her 15th birthday locked in a closet.”

Deitsch has become a leader among the organization of March for Our Lives, a March 24 anti-gun protest scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C.

Kerr and Khanna said that the movement created by Deitsch and Parkland survivors reminded them of the Vietnam War and civil rights movements.

“For the first time, I feel like something has happened,” Kerr said. “Until now, I haven’t felt that same momentum and passion.”

Kerr has been a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE.

He made a point of pulling his team from making reservations at Trump hotels, saying in October that Trump "continually offends people, and so people don’t want to stay at his hotel. It’s pretty simple."

Several other NBA stars have been active in the gun reform movement following the Florida shooting.

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat visited the school after he learned that 17-year-old Parkland victim Joaquin Oliver was buried in his jersey.

Wade on Sunday dedicated a Miami art exhibit to the survivors and announced he would also donate $200,000 to the March For Our Lives fundraiser.