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Former Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has joined a growing number of sports figures to speak out following the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
Coach K, who retired following Duke’s loss to North Carolina in the 2022 Final Four in New Orleans, targeted politicians Thursday, saying they “should be ashamed” on a SiriusXM Town Hall.
Mike Krzyzewski, retired head coach of the Duke Blue Devils, tapes an episode of his SiriusXM show during a SiriusXM Town Hall With Coach K event at Cameron Indoor Stadium June 2, 2022, in Durham, N.C. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
“I don’t understand why we sit on two sides of an aisle,” Krzyzewski said Thursday.
“I don’t understand why we don’t sit together. And the people who are voted in for each party or independent do not understand that their first and foremost responsibility is to serve the people.
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“That’s what your job is. It’s not about power,” he continued. “It’s about serving the people. And people of all races. Of all nationalities. They need to be served. Whether you’re Republican, Democratic or independent, that’s your responsibility.”
Former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski looks on before Game 2 of an NBA Eastern Conference first round playoff game at TD Garden in Boston April 20, 2022. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Coach K then turned his attention to the topic of guns, questioning whether anyone needs a semi-automatic weapon and criticizing politicians on both sides of the aisle for not acting on gun legislation.
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“What the hell are we doing? You know, where we’re not taking care of our people,” Krzyzewski said. “And it can go into the guns. Like, you need an automatic weapon? You gotta be kidding me. You got to be kidding me. It’s disgusting.
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“For us to see these kids get killed, members of our African American community get killed in a grocery store, members of our Jewish community getting killed in a synagogue. C’mon. That’s not right … It’s amazingly wrong. And you should be ashamed of yourself if you are in a position of power.”
Mike Krzyzewski, retired coach of the Duke Blue Devils, tapes an episode of his SiriusXM show with host Chris Spatola during a SiriusXM Town Hall With Coach K event at Cameron Indoor Stadium June 2, 2022, in Durham, N.C. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Krzyzewski said he was piggybacking on Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s comments following the shooting in Texas.
Prior to the tip of Game 4 between the Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals, Kerr used a news conference to call on politicians to act following the Uvalde shooting.
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“When are we going to do something?!” Kerr shouted. “I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there … I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”
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“There’s 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on HR-8 [Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021], which is a background check rule that the House passed a couple of years ago. It’s been sitting there for two years,” Kerr said. “There’s a reason they won’t vote on it, to hold onto power.”