It seems like Stephen Curry is getting more and more comfortable speaking his mind. Once, the MVP was a little more reserved, refusing to pipe up about sensitive things outside of basketball. But a recent comment by Under Armor CEO Kevin Planck got Curry quipping. Planck had said that US President Donald Trump “is an asset” to the country.
“I agree with that description,” Curry had said, “if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.” Cue the mob shouting “oooh” and “burn!” But the interesting point here, more that the Golden State Warrior’s zinger, is his willingness to make such a comment.
Actions Louder Than Words
For the most part, Curry comes off as unassuming. He’s a pretty quiet player by NBA standards. For the Warriors, fans and players usually let, say, Draymond Green do all the jawing. And especially when it comes to politics, you can expect others, like LeBron James and Kyle Lowry, to say exactly what they’re thinking.
But not Stephen Curry. The guard has been known to showcase his stances through simple, but unmistakable gestures. He insisted on having Biblical verses inscribed on his signature shoes; he’ll point heavenward after making a shot. Even with his reputation as a pretty religious fellow, he doesn’t bother making sermons on his mount. He likes to let his actions speak louder than words.
That’s why he’s also been on the end of some criticisms. Last year, his home state of North Carolina passed a law mandating that transgendered people should use bathrooms and locker rooms assigned to their birth gender. Curry opted to say very little about it: “While I don’t know enough about the North Carolina law to comment more fully, no one should be discriminated against.”
Some took his lukewarm response as condoning of perceived discrimination against transgendered people. It’s a tough spot. When you’re a high profile sports star playing at championship level, everything you say is magnified. And neutrality looks like you’re taking sides. Perhaps his “asset” comment is hinting that he’s now more willing to stick to his guns.
Policy, Not Politics
As for Kevin Planck’s statement, Under Armor has released a statement. It clarified that the praise for Donald Trump had been specifically for his business acumen. Planck was part of a group of business leaders invited to joint the American Manufacturing Council, where they engaged in dialogue about the job creation in America.
The statement had not been in support of Trump’s policies involving people of particular classes or race. That’s fortunate for Curry, their superstar endorser. He took time himself to check in with them and make sure they weren’t doing anything that struck his values.
“I spent all day yesterday on the phone,” he said, in a story by Mercury News, “with countless people at Under Armor… trying to understand what was going on, and where everybody stood on the issue… Every opportunity I have to show love, to show respect, to show that positivity, I feel like that’s my job and that’s what I stand for.”
With Donald Trump growing louder and louder himself, though, one must wonder if Stephen Curry will have more to say about the President – and his polarizing and divisive policies – in the future. If ever the Golden State Warriors do win the NBA Championship, that may make for an awfully awkward White House visit.