Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr did not shy away from his team’s LGBTQ Pride Night on Wednesday, talking at length about the importance of acceptance and inclusion and his pride in both his team and adopted state in embracing those values.

The comments from Kerr, thanks to NGFFL referee and leader Matthew Herek:

“I want to acknowledge that tonight is LGBTQ night here at Oracle, which is an important night.

“I want to say first of all that I'm proud to be part of an organization and with a region and area that embraces diversity, and there's never been a more important time in our country to respect the person next to you regardless of race, creed, color, sexual preference, sexual identity.

“I'm really encouraged by my kids' experience here in California growing up, just in terms of acceptance. It seems like the young generation is learning more and more about we all just are who we are and we're all just individuals and what makes our country great is our diversity.

“The fact that we can respect each other and work together, embrace each other, I think it's an important night for us, and we welcome everybody from the LGBTQ community.

“Maybe, if you're coming to the game tonight and your child says what does that mean, explain it to them, explain to them the importance of love the person next to you, respecting them no matter who they are, where they come from. They're human beings, we're all human beings, we're all in this together.”

While many other coaches dismiss issues of diversity and inclusion as “distractions” to their mission of winning ballgames, it’s telling that a successful multi-championship coach like Kerr would speak so powerfully and eloquently about these very values.

Awesome stuff, Steve Kerr. Awesome stuff.

If you’re reading this and cringe at “sexual preference,” we implore you to move on. This is simply an educational issue and Kerr meant no harm by it.

Of course the team’s president and COO is openly gay executive Rick Welts, who has helped blaze a trail for LGBT people in professional sports. Welts is one of the most respected executives in the NBA.

Kerr was no stranger to NBA championships as a player, winning five of them with the Chicago Bulls (4) and San Antonio Spurs (1).

For more Golden State Warriors news and notes, visit Golden State of Mind.

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