Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry has been named the winner of this year’s NAACP’s Jackie Robinson Sports Award. The honor is awarded to athletes for their commitment to social justice, civil rights and their communities. Curry’s COVID-19 interview last year with Dr. Anthony Fauci, his support of women’s equality and his outspoken approach to social justice issues are the main reasons why he was selected.
“I would borrow a Maya Angelou quote to describe Steph and his 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 to the Associated Press.
Last summer, Curry marched through the streets of Palo Alto in California chanting, “Donald Trump has got to go.” And in Oakland, the two-time MVP shouted, “hands up, don’t shoot” in protest of police brutality.
In the heat of the pandemic, Curry’s conversation with Dr. Fauci debunked several myths about the coronavirus. He asked for clarification on the severity of COVID-19, mask wearing, and whether or not people could catch the virus twice.
His involvement in President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is also notable. In 2019, Curry joined the former president in Oakland for the program’s first national gathering to urge communities to close opportunity gaps for minority boys.
“Steph has certainly made people in the Bay Area and all over the world feel joy. His commitment to social activism and support of women are another part of the fabric that makes up the person that he is. I’m honored to know him for what he does both on and off the court,” Myers said.
For the first time in NAACP Image Awards history, The Jackie Robinson Sports Award, will be shared. The NAACP is also rewarding the WNBA Players Association for their activism during, and after their season. The league and its Players Association stood behind the players as they showed an unwavering support for Black Lives Matter and the protests following the deaths of Jacob Blake, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor.
Curry’s coach, Steve Kerr, shared his thoughts on the WNBA’s activism. “I love what the WNBA players have done. They’ve really taken the lead with creativity and unity in a lot of important causes, political causes but social injustice issues,” Kerr said. “They’ve made their voices heard. They’ve done it very creatively and powerfully.”
Curry and the WNBA Players Association will be presented their awards on Saturday (March 27) at the NAACP Image Awards Virtual Experience.