Steve Kerr Admits He Handled Daryl Morey / China Situation “Very Poorly”

Last October, when Daryl Morey was under fire for tweeting support for Hong Kong protestors, Warriors coach Steve Kerr punted on commenting on the issue, saying it wasn’t an issue he was versed in. This struck many observers as peculiar and craven, considering that Kerr has been outspoken about social justice issues in the United States.

With a number of months gone by, Kerr has had some introspection about his voice or lack thereof in this saga. In a recent interview with Candace Buckner of the Washington Post that was brought to my attention in a story by Eric Ting of, Kerr volunteered that he handled the situation “very poorly” and if he had a mulligan he’d defend Morey’s right to free speech.

Buckner tweeted the transcript of this portion of their conversation:

As SFGate pointed out in their story on this, Kerr did not in this portion of the conversation condemn atrocities against Uighur Muslims in northwest China or defend the right of Hong Kong to continue capitalist sovereignty. Nonetheless, it’s at least refreshing that he not only realized he handled the initial situation poorly, but volunteered that feeling and wishes he did a better job.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. So Kerr has to take over 6 months to realize that Morey has the right to free speech? All the while trying to not insult his Chinese overlords, just like LeBron, who did a lot worse by trying to shame Morey. LeBron has been coddled his entire life, has trouble putting together two sentences, yet has the gall to call someone who graduated from the prestigious MIT Sloan, “uneducated”. Kerr and LeBron are both frauds.

  2. I guess now that drone footage has come out showing Uigher Muslims herded up, blindfolded, shackled, and awaiting to be taken to “re-education”, Steve Kerr has an explanation for his silence. It wasn’t about the hundreds of millions of dollars China is paying the NBA. Nope, it was just because Steve was “tongue-tied”….OK Steve, whatever you say….Kerr truly is pathetic ……….Woke fools like Kerr, Popovich, and Max “full-woke” Kellerman probably don’t even care that we are creating a new America where today’s children might grow up to be blindfold, shackled, and taken to re-education. ……….And if we don’t kneel before BLM and the purpled haired white kids burning bibles, then we’re all “tone deaf”…Right Max Kellerman?

  3. Why does Kerr feel the need to take the time with his response so that he doesn’t hurt the league’s business interests in China, but has no trouble speaking off the cuff about any social issue in the U.S.? It’s because our U.S. companies have also caved to the social justice mob and Kerr know’s he won’t receive any backlash in the U.S. and the league will still get their money from these spineless companies.

  4. Color me entirely unimpressed by Kerr’s epiphany that Morey has freedom of speech.

    He’s still using Orwellian bromides to avoid discussing China’s totalitarian gangster government. “They have a very different system.” Indeed. Cuba has a very different system. North Korea has a very different system. The Islamist terror states have a very different system. What might those differences be, Steve? They eat less meat? Different approach to personal hygiene? Emphasis on Six Sigma process efficiency? Please enlighten us about this different — not better, not worse — system for which Adam Silver and the NBA have so much respect. And then go have some vintage wine with Popovich and discuss how Trump is Hitler and America is violating human rights.


  5. Kerr is a pseudo-intellectual who thinks that just because daddy was in government, he has a unique insight into anything political. All it took was six months and senatorial pressure to get him to admit what everybody with a brain has been saying all along in regards to Morey.

  6. The hypocrisy of Kerr and Popovich absolutely disgusts me. ….As some other comments mention, Kerr and “Pop” rake in millions of dollars, turn a blind eye to atrocities, and then kick back with a glass of wine while lecturing us Americans on social justice. ……..I can’t watch the NBA bubble games. I literally can’t. I’d become physically ill watching their disgusting support of a Marxist takeover of our own country. (And I know I’m not alone. I have previously seen other Outkick readers state they’d be physically ill watching the NBA’s And1 China tour. Thank God for Clay, Jason, and OutKick!)

  7. I’ve moved from being disgusted with most pro sports to indifference. Which is worse. I no longer react. The thought of never watching the NBA, NFL, MLB, and college athletics is ok now. I truly feel free of the SJW posturing and virtue signalling that has taken over almost all sports.

  8. Stevie can always tell people that he got to watch the greatest basketball player pass him the ball to win in the finals.

    Then decades later he got to watch great players pass the ball to each other and win in the Golden State.

    Rich and Communist …

    • Right! i pretty much agree with the posted comments and like i have always said if Kerr had not played with Michael Jordan no one would even know who this clown is.

  9. I don’t see the point in comments being disgusted by or unforgiving of Steve Kerr, it’s that kind of attitude that makes people on ‘the other side’ insufferable. Lay off the gas pedal a bit.

    Also, I consider this:

    1. The NBA is in the business of trying to profit, so I get that &
    2. There may be really strong cultural benefits to us being in China.

    I think perhaps the more people in China see the benefits of our society and freedoms, and the more they admire our culture the more long term good that could ultimately do to spread our values.

  10. Dancin’ in the Graveyard–

    According to Coach Kerr this is a really complex issue because “every company that does business with China understands the system is different and you sort of perform this dance and it is no question that the NBA is part of that.”

    We get that this is really complex issue: Democracy & Freedom vs. Socialism/Communism & Slavery. It’s sooo hard to pick a lane. Fortunately for the Coach, help is on the way to resolve this perplexingly complex dilemma for him. Currently Antifa, BLM, and their comrades in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are working round the clock to destroy the US system. If they are successful in their destructionism, the Coach won’t need to worry about the complexity of dancing to the music of two different systems. The world will be united under the boot of the CCP’s totalitarian socialist system. Given that the CCP is most murderous regime in the history of the world, with over 76 million killed in the 20th century, we can expect much of the dancing will occur in graveyards.


  11. What a load of crap from Kerr, which is not surprising. He has spewed out opinions on a ton of hot bed issues for years, so none of those were complicated, but somehow China is? He still doesn’t have the balls to make a very simple and obvious statement condemning civil rights abuses in China. Very gutsy, Steve.

  12. “Nonetheless, it’s at least refreshing that he not only realized he handled the initial situation poorly, but volunteered that feeling and wishes he did a better job.“

    Ryan… Clearly you are part of the problem….nice work to give Steve Kerr a pass. I guess there is one Outkick reporter willing to turn a blind eye.

  13. Hey Steve Kerr — Those other American companies who do business in China don’t rip the US to shreds and preach to us about social justice. They try to stay out of politics in BOTH countries. The issue with the NBA is its double standard. LeBron says injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. In view of his actions, those words ring hollow.

  14. Coach Kerr may want to cogitate on the fact the NBA and much of the rest of the US economy has been shut down for over 4 months thanks to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which unleashed the Coronavirus on an unsuspecting world. The CCP is directly responsible for the deaths of over 688,000 people worldwide, including 155,000 in the US, and $Trillions in economic damages.

    The CCP lied to the world through its puppet, the World Health Organization, which tweeted on 1/14/2020 that “Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus…” The CCP then strong armed other countries to allow residents of Wuhan to travel to the rest of the world, while at the same time prohibiting Wuhan residents from traveling within China.

    We can’t take our kids to baseball games due to the CCP. Our kids can’t go to school and our many of neighbors are losing businesses — all courtesy of the CCP. Get out of your privileged NBA bubble, Coach Kerr, and witness the destruction going on all around you.

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