Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday that he is not asked about U.S. “human rights abuses” when traveling in China.
Kerr made the comment amid scrutiny over the National Basketball Association’s handling of a general manager’s support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Asked if he’d been questioned about China’s history on human rights during trips to the country, Kerr replied, “No, nor has our record of human rights abuses come up either.”
“None of us are perfect and we all have different issues that we have to get to and saying that is my right as an American. Doesn’t mean I that hate my country, it means I want to address things,” Kerr said. “People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall. I wasn’t asked that question.”
“We can play this game all we want and go all over the map,” he continued. “The world is a complex place and there’s more gray than black and white.”
Steve Kerr on if he’s ever been asked about human rights during his previous trips to China:
“No. Nor has (America’s) record of human rights abuses come up either… People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall.” pic.twitter.com/56mNC7LmID
— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) October 11, 2019
The NBA has faced criticism for how it handled a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of the Hong Kong demonstrators.
Lawmakers and others were upset by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s initial apology after the commissioner apologized for offending Chinese fans in the wake of Morey’s tweet.
Silver later defended Morey’s right to free speech, upsetting Chinese officials. In the aftermath, Chinese sports organizations have cut ties with the Rockets.