Steve Kerr is so much more than the championship Head Coach of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. He’s a very politically activated citizen, one who often utilizes the massive public platforms at his disposal to further his express his views on the issues. Gun reform is one of the most critical issues facing our country, and Kerr will join Rep. Ro Khanna (D-17) today to lead a town hall style discussion on gun violence in America with high school students from seven different schools across California’s 17th district.
The event, which is expected to be attended by 2,000 people, will take place at Newark Memorial High School in the events center starting at 3:45pm PT on Monday, 3/12.
It will also be live-streamed on Rep. Khanna’s official Facebook page.
Khanna and Kerr came up with the idea for this event after the two men met following a Warriors game in Washington, D.C. Steve Kerr has always been a very socially conscious citizen, but since the 2016 Presidential election, he’s been especially outspoken about both the current President and the most important issues of the day.
Gun violence is an issue that definitely hits home for Kerr, as he was just 18 when his father, former President of the American University of Beirut Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated by gunmen in January 1984. Since the town hall was announced, two more prominent leaders have been added to the list of attendees: Mike Thompson, Member of Congress (CA-5), Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and Matt Deitsch, Community Outreach Director, Never Again
Khanna granted us an exclusive interview ahead of the event.
“Who wouldn’t want to be on a panel with Steve Kerr? It’s going to be very easy to get people to come out,” Khanna told us by telephone, before elaborating on the great political awakening currently going on in America.
“It’s this incredible moment where you have people like Coach Kerr and (San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich and Lebron James and others speaking out on political issues.”
“People are so frustrated with the status quo, with the failure of political leadership that leaders from all different fields, whether they’re at the height of excellence in athletics, or the height of excellence in the business world, people like Sundar Pichai at Google or Tim Cook, or whether they’re at the height of the academic world, they’re saying it’s time for us, we can’t be on the sidelines, we’ve got to get engaged and I think that’s really encouraging for democracy, because the people who have been in charge, they haven’t made progress on so many issues.”
Here is our exclusive with Ro Khanna ahead of tonight’s town hall:
After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on St. Valentine’s Day left 17 dead, Kerr publicly expressed his disdain for the National Rifle Association and the politicians who acquiesce to their policy agenda.
“It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day at schools,” Kerr said.
“It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. It’s not enough apparently to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country to actually do anything. That’s demoralizing.”
The more Steve Kerr speaks out on social issues, the more speculation increases increases about the former Chicago Bulls guard one day running for office.
“He’s been very thoughtful on our military interventionism, on issues of race, economic justice and economic inequality, he’s probably one of the most thoughtful voices in the public arena,” Khanna continued.
“The joke is since we’ve announced this forum, we’ve gotten all these emails with “Kerr/Poppovich 2020.”
Naturally, we had to ask Khanna whether or not he believes Steve Kerr, and Gregg Poppovich, have designs on becoming a politician once his coaching days are over.
“I don’t think they have designs on it, I think they’d be great, I really do,” Khanna responded. “I think Steve Kerr is one of the most empathetic, genuine people with no agenda and he’s very well informed on the issues. He has an ability to inspire folks and cut past the noise that few people have.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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