The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘It’s easy to feel how broken we are’: Steve Kerr speaks out on the divisions in America

Steve Kerr is going to continue to speak out about what is an intensely personal issue for him. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr, one of the most vocal critics of President Trump in sports, did not hold back when asked about the shooting that claimed 11 lives in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue Saturday.

Kerr, whose own family experienced gun violence when his father was assassinated in Lebanon in 1984, spoke of how it’s up to everyone, not just political leaders to help close the divisions in the country.

“It’s easy to feel how broken we are as a country right now,” Kerr told reporters Sunday at Barclays Center (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s video). “Everybody can have influence, not just our political leaders, but people who are either well-known figures who have the camera in their face a lot, or average citizens being kinder to each other.”

Kerr urged people to vote Nov. 6, saying he would support “any candidate that will stand up” to the National Rifle Association, and called out the deadly attack on Jews as “just devastating.”

”I just expect it now, and that’s the sad thing. I remember an interview with a student after the Santa Fe [High School] shooting in Texas. It was a 14-year-old girl, and she was asked, ‘Did this shock you?’ And she said, ‘No, I kind of expected that this would happen to us at our school at some point.’ ” Kerr said. “That’s where we’ve gotten as a country. We’re broken right now. So, nothing surprises us anymore. Nothing surprises me anymore.”

Because of his father’s murder, he admitted that gun safety is personal and he has been willing to speak about it after every shooting.

“Everyone has their personal issue that’s important to them, and my personal issue is gun safety, gun control,” Kerr said. “Nobody in this country should have a semiautomatic weapon of war. That’s my personal belief so I’m going to vote for every candidate that’s willing to step up to the NRA and say, ‘You know what? This is insane. We’re murdering each other every day.’ . . . Other countries don’t go through this.”

On Friday, Kerr admitted he was “a little” concerned for his own safety after Cesar Sayoc was arrested for mailing bombs to two former presidents, a former vice president, George Soros and other prominent critics of Trump. Kerr has been outspoken over the years, and the NBA champion Warriors were uninvited by Trump to visit the White House because players had said they would not go.

“I think we should all be concerned. No matter who you are, you need to be concerned,” he said (via the Chronicle). “Not just about the bombs, but just the country we live in these days. Innocent people get killed and innocent people get shot. It’s a dangerous time to be alive right now.”

Kerr was asked if he might seek more security. “Maybe I should,” he said. “It’s really sad, and it kind of speaks to where things are in the political atmosphere these days.”

Last March, Kerr took a personal message to students after the Parkland, Fla., shootings. Although his criticisms of Trump have at times been sharp — he once compared the president to the dimwitted weatherman in “Anchorman” — he can identify with how Parkland survivors felt. “I know what it feels like,” Kerr told them in March (via The Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps). “I know how it feels. . . .

“I know how the Parkland families feel, or the Aurora [Colorado] families, or Sandy Hook [Connecticut],” he said, referencing other mass shootings. “I met with some of the families from the Las Vegas shooting. . . . It’s awful. It’s devastating. It’s horrible.

“This is pretty simple: Let’s see if we can do something about it. Let’s save some lives.”

Read more from The Post:

Why did the Cavs fire Tyronn Lue now and which coach might be next?

Scott Brooks says Bradley Beal and John Wall had angry words because they’re frustrated

The Lakers might have suspensions to thank for stumbling into their most effective lineup