Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is whistling a foul on those using professional athletes’ postures during the playing of the national anthem as a litmus test for patriotism, and it’s one reason he feels fortunate his defending champions play in the NBA rather than the NFL.
Kerr spoke during a courtside media availability Thursday of the two major sports leagues’ divergent approaches to the matter of players’ right to express sociopolitical views, including dissent, with NFL owners having approved a new policy requiring that players on the field at time the anthem is played stand at attention:
‘I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech, about peacefully protesting. And I think our leadership in the NBA understands that 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.’
And that was only the half of it, if that. More of Kerr’s remarks — including an observation that “people in high places are trying to divide us” — can be heard in the YouTube video below: