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Tragic story of Steve Kerr's dad after his emotional speech on Texas school shooting

Joshua Rogers May 25, 2022
steve kerr father dad death malcolm kerr
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr delivered an emotional speech in his pre-game conference about the devastating school shooting that took place in Uvalde, Texas. Steve Kerr’s own life has been struck by tragedy as his dad, Malcolm, was killed by gunmen in 1984.

On Tuesday (24 May), a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Texas, killing at least 19 children and two teachers. The gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 80 miles west of San Antonio. As reported by Sky News, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school with a gun and possibly a rifle after earlier shooting his grandmother. Ramos was shot dead by law enforcement officers.

A number of victims have since been named in what is one of America’s deadliest school shootings.

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Steve Kerr’s emotional speech ahead of Warriors game

Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks took place on Tuesday. However, in his pre-game press conference Warriors head coach Steve Kerr only wanted to talk about one subject.

Kerr has spoken out about gun violence in America several times before and has actively campaigned for stricter gun control. While fighting back tears, he delivered a passionate speech appealing to US senators to put an end to these awful events.

“Since we came out of the last shooting, 14 children were killed within 400 miles of here, and one teacher. In the last ten days, we’ve had elderly people of colour murdered in a supermarket in Buffalo. We’ve had Asian parishioners murdered in Southern California. Now we’ve had children murdered in school,” he said.

Visibly upset, Kerr pounded the table in the press room declaring enough was enough. “When are we going to do something?” he yelled. “I’m tired, 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!”

See his impassioned speech below:

Tragic story of Steve Kerr’s dad and his murder in Beirut

This particular issue is so close to the former NBA player. Steve Kerr’s father, Malcolm Kerr, was tragically shot and killed by gunmen in 1984 while serving as president of the American University of Beirut.

Kerr rarely speaks publicly about the death of his father but the incident was brought to light in Netflix documentary The Last Dance.

Malcolm Kerr was a university professor who taught Middle Eastern and Arab studies. He became president of the American University of Beirut in 1982, during the middle of the Lebanese Civil War.

As Esquire reports, it was especially unsafe to be an American citizen living in Beirut at the time, with two separate bombings of the US Embassy.

Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

On 18 January 1984, Malcolm Kerr was shot and killed by two gunmen in the hallway outside his office. Kerr’s assassination was an extremely prominent story at the time, with then-president Ronald Reagan addressing his passing in a statement.

The Last Dance details how Steve Kerr was inspired to pursue his dreams of playing basketball after his father’s tragic death. He would go on to win five NBA championships as a player with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs, and three titles with the Warriors as head coach.

The Focus sends its thoughts and prayers to the families affected by the Ulvade shooting.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.