The tireless work of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry off the basketball court, campaigning for social justice, supporting women’s causes, and even interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci about the coronavirus pandemic, is receiving praise from civil rights leaders.
The NAACP has awarded him its Jackie Robinson Sports Award. And, for the first time, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization recognizes more than one person by honoring the WNBA Players Association.
“This award is truly an experience of humility and honor. It was kind of a surprise when you do things in the community and talk about things that you believe in, it’s about the collective effort, not just me, but everyone around me in terms of responsibility to change, “Curry said in comments. provided to The Associated Press by a team spokesperson. Curry was not available for a formal interview while resting a tailbone injury he sustained Wednesday night in Houston.
“You don’t really do it for the recognition, it’s more about the work that you’re doing, that this is a great opportunity to continue talking about things that are important and honoring the legacy of Jackie Robinson and what he did. and the change that he was able to create and the barriers that he was able to break down and continue these conversations, ”added Curry. “So I appreciate the recognition, the honor, and if it gives more inspiration and energy to keep changing things in terms of what needs to happen for the black community across the country, then I totally agree.”
Curry, 33, a two-time NBA MVP from Golden State, held a YouTube question-and-answer forum with Fauci last March near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would borrow a quote from Maya Angelou to describe Steph and her leadership: ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,’” Warriors general. Manager Bob Myers said in an email.
“Steph has certainly made people in the Bay Area and around the world happy. Her commitment to social activism and support for women are another part of the fabric that makes up who she is. I am honored to know him for what he does both on and off the court, ”added Myers. “And a well deserved congratulations to the women of the WNBA who continue to fearlessly pursue what is right.”
The Jackie Robinson Award, named for the late late Dodgers who broke down baseball’s racial barrier, recognizes athletes for their success as well as their commitment to social justice, civil rights, and their communities.
“He’s got a solid platform and he’s using it to the best of his ability,” said Curry’s teammate Kelly Oubre Jr. “He’s a great person.”
WNBA players have been applauded for their activism in a unified movement that has featured kneeling for the national anthem, messages of support for Black Lives Matter and protesting the Jacob Blake shooting in August following the Bucks’ lead of not playing. .
“I am very proud of the WNBA players for this deserved recognition of their continued activism and advocacy for social justice and equality,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement provided to the AP. “Their platforms are larger than basketball and they are incredible role models for the next generation of athletes and leaders. The WNBA Social Justice Council continues its important work and you can definitely ‘count’ on more from the players. “
WNBA players also criticized former Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican and former co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, for her criticism of the league’s social justice efforts.
Curry also applauded the women for their efforts.
“The recognition of the WNBA and what they have stood for and how they have used their platform to be bold and courageous and speak out for change at every opportunity, that recognition is well deserved,” said Curry. “They are leaders and revolutionaries in terms of using their collective voice and their impact on and off the pitch, so a salute to them and all they have done and continue to do in terms of leadership and use of their voice.”
Some WNBA players wore T-shirts that read “Vote Warnock” in support of Atlanta Pastor Raphael Warnock, a Democrat who defeated Loeffler in a runoff in January. Warnock became the first African-American senator from Georgia.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who is outspoken on many topics, admires WNBA players for their activism.