Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr chose not to spend his pregame press conference time on Tuesday discussing basketball. Instead, he delivered a call to action in response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman used firearms he legally purchased in accordance with Texas gun laws to murder 19 children and two teachers.
In an emotional speech, Kerr shakily pleaded with GOP lawmakers in Washington, begging them take appropriate action in amending federal gun regulations to prevent the continued unnecessary loss of lives.
Video of his plea, seen below, quickly went viral.
His plea for action was also shared by his team's official Twitter account.
Coach Kerr said:
"When are we going to do something?"
"I'm so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there."
"I'm so tired. Excuse me. I'm sorry."
"I'm tired of the moments of silence. Enough!"
"There's 50 Senators right now who refuse to vote on HR8, which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple years ago."
"It's been sitting there for two years."
"And there's a reason they won't vote on it: to hold onto power."
Kerr then addressed the man who made obstructionism his primary focus, former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
"So I ask you Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you Senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings."
"I ask you, are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers?"
"Because that's what it looks like."
Support for Kerr and his message flooded social media.
One person tweeted:
"If Steve Kerr ever gets tired of winning championships, he should 100% get into politics."
"He’s way better suited for this than half the people in office."
"Coach Steve Kerr's voice resonates with me."
"This is how every one of us should speak out about the gun crisis in America!"
Someone else tweeted:
"Steve Kerr is a great NBA coach but is an even better person."
"This is a must watch for everyone in America ..."
Kerr is known for his staunch stance on sensible gun access legislation, regularly and publicly calling for stricter regulations. Much of his advocacy stems from the loss of his father, who died at the hands of a gunman while working as president of American University of Beirut.
The Warriors coach concluded:
"Fifty senators in Washington are going to hold us hostage."
"Do you realize that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political party, want background checks -- universal background checks? Ninety percent of us."
"We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want."
"They won't vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power."
"It's pathetic! I've had enough!"
Kerr then abruptly stood up and left.
Many share Kerr's frustration.
California Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell tweeted:
"How much longer will Mitch McConnell and the GOP hold america hostage?"
"Coach @SteveKerr is all of us right now."
Another person tweeted:
"One of the most powerful and moving things I’ve seen!"
"Well played Steve Kerr for standing up for all those families who have been devastated by the latest needless gun crime in the USA."
"Time for people to act in others interests NOT their own."
Kerr joins a public outcry for legislative action to address gun violence in the United States.