Steve Kerr has been one of President Donald Trump's biggest critics since his inauguration back in January, but the Warriors coach recently came to the conclusion that it's time to "take a different course."
In a first-person piece for Sports Illustrated (as told to SI's Chris Ballard), Kerr sent a message of unity a day after Trump tweeted he was rescinding the Warriors' White House invitation. Trump uninvited Golden State in response to star guard Stephen Curry saying Friday his vote would be to not attend. Kerr admitted it was unlikely the Warriors would have visited the White House anyway as part of their championship celebration, as coaches and players didn't believe a civil discourse with the president was realistic.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
"In his tweet to Steph, Trump talked about honoring the White House but, really, isn’t it you who must honor the White House, Mr. President?" Kerr wrote. "And the way to do that is through compassion and dignity and being above the fray. Not causing the fray."
Kerr also touched on Trump's comments about NFL players fighting racial injustice after Trump called for the removal of "son of a bitch" protestors who didn't stand during the national anthem. Kerr said Trump's words were highly upsetting and "crushed" him. Those comments in part inspired Kerr to avoid continuing a "war of words" with the president and shift his focus to bringing the country together.
"Remember, the president works for us, not vice versa," Kerr wrote. "We elected him. He doesn’t just work for his constituents and his base. He works for every citizen. Once you take that office, you have to do what’s best for the entire country. Sure, you’re going to have policies that align with your party, but that’s the not the point. Respectfully, Mr. Trump, the point is this: You’re the president. You represent all of us. Don’t divide us. Bring us together."
Players around the NBA voiced their support for Curry and denounced Trump after the president's tweet, including LeBron James, who called Trump a "bum." Curry praised other players for speaking out and didn't back down from his stance.
"My stance is the same as it was yesterday," Curry said, "and kind of cemented even further about how things in our country have gone, especially with him representing us."