Two-time MVP and NBA champion Stephen Curry has had an incredibly successful couple of years seeing his stardom skyrocket. He is largely seen as the face of the NBA next to Lebron James and is the man behind Under Armour’s spike in shoe revenue that’s giving Nike a run for its money. With increased celebrity comes increased publicity and while at a TechCrunch event Tuesday in San Francisco, the star was asked about his choice for the upcoming presidential election and Curry responded, “Hilary”, without any hesitation.
Up until recently, Curry has rarely been in the news for taking any kind of social or political stances. When you are someone like Curry, an All-American athlete and a devout Christian with the quintessential family, doing so could cause a lot of backlash and disrupt a very marketable image. However, Curry has been in the news lately both showing support and disapproval on a few polarizing issues.
For starters, Curry showed support for fellow bay area athlete Colin Kaepernick and his national anthem protest. Curry chooses to stand and said he works to address some of the same social issues differently or “off the grid”, but he approves Kaepernick’s freedom of choice and the intent behind his protest:
“I’ll most likely stand,” Curry said. “Colin, if you follow the way he talks, the message he’s trying to send with his act, he’s not, from his mouth, disrespecting the veterans or the military. That’s not his intention. He’s obviously continued the act to create the conversation for more social justice and things of that nature.,” Curry said, as reported by Mercury News.
Stephen Curry says he’ll “most likely stand” during national anthem this year, but supports Kaepernick pic.twitter.com/5Zo8EGLsev
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 14, 2016
He was also quoted in a prior interview with CNBC-TV’s Sara Eisen, voicing support for the San Francisco 49er QB. “There’s going to be people that disagree with him, there’s going to be people that agree with him, which is what I think our country stands for, which hopefully will drive the conversation to bettering the equal rights and treatment of African-Americans and people of color.”
Most recently Steph spoke in support of equal rights and fair treatment for all and about his disagreement with North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 laws, also known as the anti-LGBT “bathroom bill”.
“I think it’s unfortunate for our city and our state to be under the microscope with [House Bill 2] and how it’s unfolded,” Curry said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m all for equal and fair rights and treatment for everybody. Until it gets addressed, until some changes are made, this could be a recurring theme in North Carolina. I don’t want that happen.”
Curry, a native of Charlotte, has been outspoken about his disappointment that the NBA All-Star game had to be moved from his hometown. Notably, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the ACC conference championship football game has also been moved from Charlotte due to HB2.
Perhaps as a new face of the NBA, Curry is starting to realize his reach and beginning to embrace it. Not to mention ascending in a league where the game’s biggest stars and leaders are very vocal and on the forefront of change. Although Curry has said many times he is not trying to chase anyone’s legacy, certainly not LeBron’s, he may have reached the point where he feels the burden of social responsibility.
That doesn’t mean he will be starting any protests of his own, but maybe the star point guard will continue to use his platform to support causes that promote equal rights and fair treatment while denouncing the ones that do not. Curry doesn’t have to be controversial or distort his all-inclusive image to become more of a vocal leader on the right side of history.