Stephen Curry didn’t mince words when it came to addressing Colin Kaepernick, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, creating a ruckus when he first decided to sit for the National Anthem.
From CSNBayArea.com’s Monte Poole:
Asked by CNBC-TV host Sara Eisen if he had any opinion on the buzz around Kaepernick, Curry didn’t hesitate.
“I love that,” he told the network in an exclusive interview. “I love that there’s freedom of speech and he can stand for what he believes in. 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.
“So I applaud him for taking a stand. And, hopefully, the conversation is about what his message was, and not the fact that ‘Is he going to stand’ or ‘Is he going to sit’ for the national anthem or whoever it is. The conversation started, and continues.”
I would also add the fact that he’s putting his money where his mouth is and donating a million dollars to finding ways to better or to make his message a reality,” Curry said. “I hope that all resources and conversation and intellect across the country will be able to figure out a way to make that million dollars as powerful as it can be. He’s on the right track.”
It’s sort of amazing that Kaepernick’s stance on various issues, specifically the mistreatment of African Americans by law enforcement, has ruffled so many feathers. His decision to sit during the National Anthem has become a separate issue in and of itself—incorrectly, I might add. The song means different things to different people, and I question how many of Kap’s detractors actually placed such value on standing for its duration before now. Most people, I would hazard, stand reflexively, almost emptily, out of perfunctory respect.
But even if that’s not the case, it’s Kaepernick’s right to sit during the National Anthem. We shouldn’t have any qualms about it, or even about the issues to which he’s drawing attention. And if you don’t agree with him, you should at least appreciate the stand he’s taking.
Sure, he’s more financially secure than most other fringe-roster NFLers, but that’s kind of the point. Not enough professional athletes, specifically in the NFL, are speaking their mind, undoubtedly out of fear for internal backlash. That’s a different problem altogether, but players who have the means to survive outside their sport, like Kap, shouldn’t be coaxed into silence because of their stature. It should be the other way around.
Besides, like Curry notes, Kaepernick is not aimlessly spearheading a cause he doesn’t understand. He has spoken candidly about his stance, and his plans to make a donation prove he’s committed financially, in addition to symbolically.
So good on Curry for supporting Kap. The NBA has done a better job than most leagues with encouraging its players to speak on issues that transcend the sport. Those, like Kaepernick, who aren’t fortunate enough enjoy such flexibility, need athletes like Curry in their corner to further the cause even more.