“I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough,” the eight-time NBA champion said hours after a shooter opened fire in a Texas elementary school, killing at least 18 children and 3 adults. The shooting took place in Uvalde, around 350 miles southwest of Dallas, where the Warriors played the Mavericks Tuesday night.
Kerr accused senators of refusing to vote on a bill passed by the House in 2019 that would mandate universal background checks for gun purchases. Even though polling shows more than 90% of Americans support the idea, it has been difficult to sell to elected Republicans, many of whom receive significant campaign funds from gun lobbyists.
“So I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I asked all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings,” Kerr said.
“I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers? Because that’s what it looks like.”
“We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want.”
A very emotional and frustrated Steve Kerr spoke about the shooting in Uvalde, Texas pic.twitter.com/bmQYMskcti
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 24, 2022
Kerr grew frustrated, raising his voice and banging his fist as he accused lawmakers of refusing to vote on the background checks bill because “they want to hold on to their own power.”
“It’s pathetic. I’ve had enough,” he concluded, before exiting the room abruptly.
Kerr’s own family was devastated by gun violence. His father was shot dead in Beirut in 1984. He often uses his platform to speak out about gun control.
The NBA also issued a statement, saying it was “devastated by the horrific shooting that took place today in Uvalde.”
“Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to the victims’ family and friends, and the entire Robb Elementary School and Uvalde community,” it said.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.