Finalists send a message, with Warriors, Celtics again uniting on ending gun violence

SAN FRANCISCO — Several players and coaches sported orange “End Gun Violence” T-shirts before Game 2 of the NBA Finals tipped off Sunday evening at the Chase Center.

“Both teams are wearing the shirts,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “I think we feel very strongly as a league that it’s time for people to take notice and to take part in what should be a nationwide effort to limit the gun violence that’s out there.”

Kerr and Celtics coach Ime Udoka have each used their platforms to bring attention to gun violence following the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. On Sunday, Kerr stressed the importance of continuing to raise awareness so that people recognize their agency.

“The biggest thing, I think, is to vote,” Kerr said. “What I understand is that a lot of congressional races that are out there, despite the fact that the majority of people in this country want gun safety measures put in place, a lot of those races are decided by people who aren’t so much for any kind of gun safety measures.

“People have to vote. If you feel strongly about saving lives and possibly even someone in your own family, get out and vote. That’s the only way to convince the people we need to convince to start implementing gun safety regulation prevention laws.”

The backs of the shirts say, “Learn More,” and list five nonprofits and organizations that are in support of gun safety and/or gun control legislation: Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, Live Free, and March for our Lives. Kerr also encouraged people to donate or get involved.

“They all do great work,” he said.

Asked what more can be done outside of awareness, Kerr once again pointed to the importance of reaching politicians.

“It comes down to convincing politicians that things like background checks are really crucial, and things that don’t impact people’s Second Amendment rights,” he said. “We know there are things that can work and we have to convince people that those things are important enough to go to the ballot box and cast a vote.”

Udoka, too, reiterated that changes need to be made.

“We are all on the same page as far as that,” he said.

Nicole Yang can be reached at her on Twitter @nicolecyang.

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