HOUSTON - Never shy to express his political feelings, Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr took on the National Football League of Thursday, declaring the new policy to force players who don't want to stand during the Star Spangled Banner to hide in the locker room as "idiotic."
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Houston Rockets game, Kerr said: "They’re just playing to their fan base, and they’re just basically trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It’s idiotic, but that’s how the NFL has handled their business.”
It seems, however, he forgot, or ignored the fact, that the NBA has similar rules, which state: "Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the national anthem."
The NFL this week adopted a comprised version of the anthem rule, now mandating that players and personnel have to “stand and show respect for our flag and the anthem” or be fined. But the new policy also allows anyone who doesn't want to stand for the national anthem to stay in the locker room “or in a similar location off the field” until after the song is finished playing. The NBA officially offers no such wiggle room.
Steve Kerr’s full quote on the NFL’s new anthem rule pic.twitter.com/1YeFAjBVad— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 24, 2018
Speaking casually from the seats at practice, Kerr, however, told reporters that be feels the NBA understands why players take knee during the “Star-Spangled Banner” better than the NFL.
“I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech,” Kerr said. “It’s about peacefully protesting. I think our leaders in the NBA understand that when an NFL player is kneeling, they were kneeling to protest police brutality, to protest racial inequality. They weren’t disrespecting the flag or the military, but our president decided to make it about that, and the NFL followed suit and pandered to their fan base by creating this hysteria.”
After the NFL announced its new policy, President Trump praised the league, telling Fox News the team owners “did the right thing.” He also credited “the people” for enacting the new mandate.