Warriors coach Steve Kerr's attack on NFL anthem rule is pure hypocrisy
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his team are getting ready to play a crucial Game 5 in the Western Conference Finals in Houston, but that didn’t stop him from spending time Thursday ranting about the NFL and what he called its “idiotic” new policy on national anthem protests.
The NFL announced Wednesday that players on the field will be required to “stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.”
“It’s just typical of the NFL,” Kerr told reporters. “They’re just playing to their fan base and they’re just basically just trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It’s idiotic, but that’s how the NFL has handled their business.
“I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech, about peacefully protesting. 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. But our president decided to make it about that and the NFL followed suit, pandered to their fan base, created this hysteria.
“It’s kind of what’s wrong with our 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 what it really is. It’s a representation of what we’re about, which is diversity, peaceful protests, right to free speech. It’s ironic actually.”
There’s one big problem with Kerr’s diatribe: The NFL’s “idiotic” policy is very similar to his own league’s.
In fact, the NBA’s anthem rules are even more restrictive.
The NBA rulebook states that players, coaches and trainers “must be present, stand, and line up in a dignified posture along the foul lines” during the national anthem.
Below are the NBA rules for conduct during the National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/mCADF8lqYJ
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) September 28, 2017
While the NFL’s new policy allows those who don’t want to stand for the anthem to “stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the anthem has been performed,” the NBA states that players “must be present” on the court.
When the NFL was mired in the anthem controversy last September after President Donald Trump railed against the protesters, the NBA sent a memo to teams reinforcing that players and coaches are required to stand for the anthem.
According to ESPN, the memo told teams they “do not have the discretion to waive” the anthem rule and said “the league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach, or trainer does not stand for the anthem.”
Days before the memo was released, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he expected players to stand for the national anthem.
“It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league,” Silver said.
Someone should tell Steve Kerr.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.