Part of Stephen Currys popularity as an athlete is directly related to his character and his spirited, but accurate vocality when addressing social issues. Like social media, The Players Tribune provides athletes with a direct connection to the fans and a wider audience to share their thoughts, beliefs, opinions and experiences.
Curry penned a piece called The Noise which ran on Veteran’s Day. He offered his personal thoughts on the divisiveness and various social issues presently eroding our country. In a way, Curry blames the contentious, confrontational and out of control world of Twitter and Instagram for creating a social powder keg on the verge of exploding as social media allows for everyone to shout their various opinions, no matter how venomous and uncompromising, while ignoring everyone elses point of views, creating a melting pot of ignorance rather than opportunity and unity.
Stephen Curry in his own words: https://t.co/1RNiZjUoEe
Curry also shrewdly understands that all of this noise is truly a cry for change from the common folks – the people who are the foundation of our existence and are unhappy with the way their country is being run.
But if theres anything Ive learned this year, Curry wrote, its that all of that noise we keep hearing its not an accident. Were hearing that noise because there are real people out there, facing real issues, and real inequalities, some in ways like never before. In 2017, in America, silence is no longer an option.
Curry spoke of his frustrations with the negative response from the white community towards players of color kneeling for the anthem and how the message is constantly lost and misdirected by people accusing them of disrespecting an institution in American society that they actually hold in the highest regard. The confusion and the noise collide and the cries of the American people are lost in a mudslide.
But when someone tells me that my stances, or athlete stances in general, are disrespecting the military which has become a popular thing to accuse peaceful protestors of its something that Im going to take very, very seriously, Curry wrote. One of the beliefs that I hold most dear is how proud I am to be an American and how incredibly thankful I am for our troops. I know how fortunate I am to live in this country, and to do what I do for a living, and to raise my daughters in peace and prosperity. But I also hear from plenty of people who dont have it nearly as good as I do. Plenty of people who are genuinely struggling in this country. Especially our veterans.
And every single veteran Ive spoken to, theyve all said pretty much the exact same thing: That this conversation weve started to have in the world of sports whether its been Colin kneeling, or entire NFL teams finding their own ways to show unity, or me saying that I didnt want to go to the White House its the opposite of disrespectful to them.
Curry brought up several valid points. Things that the African-American community tries to articulate everyday. He also wrote passionately about how he felt when the President himself went at him on Twitter, highlighting the concept of misdirected energy.
NBA players lash out as #Trump Attacks Steph Curry https://t.co/uegXg6dn8q
He touched on how the President, NFL owners and people are so outraged about protests in the name of those who served our country, but dont actually do anything to help veterans survive comfortably in America after serving. Less energy should be directed at being pigheaded and concerned with race, and more people should be aiding these veterans that they claim to hold in such high regard that they would call football players and NBA athletes who kneel for the anthem racist names and traitorous communists.
Curry says that on Veterans Day, these issues struck him hard.
He spoke of his encounter with a man he met who served in Afghanistan and he told me about how much he had been through, both physically and mentally, just in trying to transition back into society, and into his daily life. He offered some advice to me, about how I could help to raise awareness about some of the serious issues that veterans are going through for example, with the Veterans Affairs medical system, and how its administration is broken. And he educated me on demographics telling me about how less than 1% of the population today serves in the military, which makes it a real struggle for veterans, as a political constituency, to get the representation that they need.
How come those issues never seem to be a trending topic?
We hear all the time on TV and social media about supporting our troops. But its not just about saluting them or thanking them for their service at the airport and its definitely not just about how we observe the national anthem. Michael told me that our veterans need real action. They need real help with medical services, and access to jobs, and readjusting to society.
Curry ends the piece by saying he doesnt want to be just noise. The consciousness of athletes – our finest and most celebrated and popular ones – have been sparked. There is no reversing that. They are no longer suppressing their genuine beliefs and responsibilities to the less fortunate for jersey sales and high-end cars.
This is what Fox News aired 20 minutes before that Trump tweet on Stephen Curry. (h/t @becket)
Currys social beliefs have not hurt his jersey sales, which tells me that the only folks who truly have a problem with African-American athletes evening out the playing field for people of color by speaking to the important and relevant issues of the day will not be around when Currys daughter is paving the way for a next generation of people that choose to not only use their riches to acquire material things, but use their celebrity platform to spark the minds of our youth and influence the history of our country in a positive way.