‘It’s idiotic’: Steve Kerr slams NFL for new national-anthem policy

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has never shied away from sharing his opinion on the intersection of sports, politics, and society, and on Thursday he offered a scathing rebuke of the NFL for their new national anthem policy.

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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has never shied away from sharing his opinion on the intersection of sports, politics, and society, and on Thursday he offered a scathing rebuke of the NFL for their new national anthem policy.
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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

  • Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called out the NFL for its new policy regarding the national anthem.
  • Kerr called the new rules “idiotic” and expressed pride that the NBA understands the values that the protesting players were promoting.
  • Kerr went on to criticize President Trump and others in power who aimed to “make this about the flag as if the flag is something other than it really is – which is a representation of what we’re about, which is diversity, peaceful protests, right to free speech.”

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has never been one to hide his politics. Like fellow head coach Gregg Popovich, Kerr has spoken out on topics ranging from America’s gun crisis to President Trump’s immigration ban.

On Thursday, Kerr was asked for his opinion on the NFL’s new policy surrounding the national anthem, which compelled players to abstain from protests such as kneeling in favor of showing “respect for the flag.”

Kerr responded with scathing criticism of the new rule, as reported by Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

“It’s just typical of the NFL,” Kerr said. “They’re just playing to their fanbase. Basically just trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It’s idiotic. But that’s how the NFL has conducted their business.”

Kerr went on to call out the NFL’s seemingly willful misreading of the nature of the protests, and note the differences between how the NFL and NBA handled the idea of patriotism and its intersection with sports.

“I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech and peaceful protesting. I think our leadership in the NBA understands when the NFL players were kneeling, they were kneeling to protest police brutality, to protest racial inequality. They weren’t disrespecting the flag or the military. But our president has decided to make it about that, and the NFL followed suit, pandered to their fanbase, created this hysteria.”

“It’s kind of what’s wrong with the country right now. People in high places are trying to divide us, divide loyalties, make this about the flag as if the flag is something other than it really is – which is a representation of what we’re about, which is diversity, peaceful protests, right to free speech. It’s really ironic, actually.”

You can watch Kerr’s response in full below.

Kerr will lead the Warriors tonight as they face off against the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.