2022 NBA Finals: Why Celtics, Warriors wore 'End Gun Violence' shirts before Game 2

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Udoka, Kerr address Celtics and Warriors wearing 'End Gun Violence' shirts originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors are in the national spotlight as they compete in the 2022 NBA Finals. And they have an important message to deliver.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and several players from both teams wore bright orange T-shirts featuring the message "End Gun Violence" ahead of Game 2 at Chase Center on Sunday.

A rash of mass shootings have occurred in the United States over the past month, including an attack at a Buffalo supermarket on May 14 that left 10 dead and a massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 22 dead. Both shooters used AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles in their attacks.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who made an emotional plea for gun reform following the Uvalde shooting, explained in his pregame press conference why the Celtics and Warriors teamed up to wear the shirts.

"We feel very strongly as a league that it's time for people to take notice and to take part in what should be a nationwide effort to limit the gun violence that's out there," Kerr said. "And there are ways to limit it. There are proven laws that are waiting to be passed, whether it's background checks or what have you. There are things we can do that would not violate people's Second Amendment rights, but would save lives.

"The idea behind wearing the shirts for both teams is to make people aware that they can contribute to different gun safety, gun violence prevention groups."

Kerr also stressed the importance of voting for elected leaders who will support legislation around gun reform.

"If you feel strongly about saving lives and possibly even someone in your own family, get out and vote," Kerr added. "That's the only way to convince the people we need to convince to start implementing gun safety regulation prevention laws, things that we can do to help."

Udoka echoed Kerr's message while noting the importance of raising awareness about a deadly issue in America.

"For me, it's something I spoke about after the Miami game," Udoka said. "We play a game that if you win, you're elated and you feel great about it; you lose, you're devastated for the moment but it's not life and death, you still go on.

"The awareness is about things that continue to happen in our communities. They are devastated and their families are devastated and we kind of go on with our normal life and business. Just continue to keep those thoughts in mind and those people are struggling.

"It continues to happen. And awareness and changes need to be made and we are all on the same page as far as that."

Fans attending Game 2 at Chase Center on Sunday will see the same message, as the arena had "End Gun Violence" displayed on several video screens prior to the game.