Steve Kerr has found himself in the middle of a word war, of sorts. After refusing to criticize China’s communist government, despite him and his team being notably outspoken towards issues plaguing our own country, U.S. President Donald Trump called him out in a recent session with the media:
“They have to work out their own situation. The NBA’s — they know what they’re doing,” Trump told reporters in his first public comments about the issue when asked about it by CNBC. “I watched the way that [Golden State Warriors coach Steve] Kerr and [San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg] Popovich and some of the others were pandering to China, and yet to our own country, it’s like they don’t respect it.”
Trump said that Kerr “was like a little boy, he was so scared to be even answering the question. He couldn’t answer the question — he was shaking, ‘Oh, oh, oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. He didn’t know how to answer the question, and yet he’ll talk about the United States very badly.”
Steve Kerr has since responded to those initial comments, suggesting that he was the “shiny object” for Trump to be mad at that day.
“Mainly just because it was me. Then you stop and you think, this is just every day. This is just another day. I was the shiny object yesterday. There was another one today, there will be a new one tomorrow. And the circus will go on. It’s just strange, but it happened.”
Steve Kerr’s full response to Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/UWkzuJKYpM
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 11, 2019
The day after Kerr’s response, Trump doubled-down on his previous statements, poking a stick at what he calls a “weak and pathetic” attitude by Kerr towards China.
So funny to watch Steve Kerr grovel and pander when asked a simple question about China. He chocked, and looks weak and pathetic. Don’t want him at the White House!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2019
The NBA has received an outpouring of criticism as a result of their response towards China. Following a Daryl Morey tweet in support of Hing Kong protesters, the nation essentially cut their ties with the NBA and could cost them billions if not resolved soon.
In turn, the league has refused to speak out against China’s government, speak in support of the protesters, or allow any more of their subsidiaries to show support of Morey’s stance. Considering the NBA is a basketball association and not a political one, their stance is understandable.
Some, including Trump, seem to think that the NBA should stand up in support of Democracy and against China and their actions. That move could prove costly.