Reaction to the NFL’s new rule against players during “The Star-Spangled Banner” has sparked strong emotions on both sides. On Thursday, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called the new rule “idiotic” and pointed blame at the league’s owners and leadership for “pandering to its fan base” with a display of “fake patriotism.”
Steve Kerr isn’t afraid to take on the NFL
Steve Kerr hasn’t been afraid to voice his opinion on gun violence, and his political disagreements with President Trump. In fact, Kerr has become a vocal leader for much of the NBA. During a shootaround on Thursday, Kerr expressed his disappointment with the NFL.
“It’s just typical of the NFL. They’re just playing to their fan base. 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,” said Kerr.
Kerr also went on to say that he was proud of the NBA for understanding that America is about free speech and peaceful protest. According to the coach, the NBA and its leadership viewed the NFL protest as a response to police brutally and not as disrespectful to the flag. Kerr went on to blame President Trump for changing the narrative and making the protest about the military.
What about the NBA rule
The NBA has a rule that requires players to stand during the anthem. The rule has been in place for nearly two decades, and no NBA player seemed to challenge it last season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did send out a memo that reminded teams of the rule.
Kerr says the context of the rule and the relationship between league officials and its players matter. Sliver has let player speak their minds on political issues in the past without any punishment. The NBA has also allowed outspoken players like LeBron James and Chris Paul to be in union positions.
Kerr said that the players, Sliver, and leadership feel like “partners.” He also said he was proud of players for voicing their opinions on various social issues. The NBA has not said if their rule will change anytime soon.