Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr did not hold back his words when questioned about the NFL’s new national anthem policy on May 24. Speaking to reporters, he called the policy “idiotic” and “typical” of the NFL, which requires all players to stand on the field and “show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”
According to Bleacher Report, the NFL released their new policy statement on May 23.
Steve Kerr criticized the NFL for its national anthem policy pic.twitter.com/eaCXC5WhCj
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 24, 2018
Kerr said that the NFL is trying to play to their fan base by using nationalism as a tactic. He went on to say that it is habitual of the NFL to adopt the new policy.
“I think it’s just typical of the NFL,” Kerr said, answering a reporter’s question. “They’re just playing off their fan base, and they’re just basically trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It’s idiotic, but that’s how the NFL has handled their business.”
The NFL’s new policy stated that players and personnel can stay in the locker room if they choose not to stand during the anthem. However, teams will be fined if players do not stand while on the field. According to ESPN, President Trump called the policy “good” for the NFL and then suggested that the protesters should not be in the country.
Kerr talked about how he felt regarding the first amendment. Contrasting the NFL policy with the ideals of the NBA, he said “I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech.”
“It’s about peacefully protesting,” Kerr added. “I think our leaders in the NBA understand that when an NFL player is kneeling, they were kneeling to protest police brutality, to protest racial inequality. They’re weren’t disrespecting the flag or the military, but our president decided to make it about that and the NFL followed suit and pandered to their fan base by creating this hysteria.”
“So, it’s really ironic, actually, what the NFL is doing,” Kerr remarked.
NFL players, such as Colin Kaepernick, protested against police brutality and racial inequality, which has received both praise and condemnation within the league and nation as a whole. Only time will tell how this new policy leaves its mark on the NFL’s future.