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Steph Curry Says Veterans Are Worried About More Important Things Than Players Kneeling During Anthem
When it comes to using your platform and speaking about topics that matter and affects people, Stephen Curry does that quite often and quite well.
The Golden State Warriors star recently submitted an entry to The Players’ Tribune and he touched on various topics, such as Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump’s tweet about the White House invitations, and the many people who believe that kneeling during the Anthem is somehow a sign of disrespect to the military.
“But if there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that all of that noise we keep hearing — it’s not an accident. We’re 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.”
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 protesters of — it’s something that I’m going to take very, very seriously. 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 don’t 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 I’ve spoken to, they’ve all said pretty much the exact same thing: That this conversation we’ve started to have in the world of sports … whether it’s been Colin (Kaepernick) kneeling, or entire NFL teams finding their own ways to show unity, or me saying that I didn’t want to go to the White House — it’s the opposite of disrespectful to them.
A lot of them have said, that even if they don’t totally agree with every position of every person, this is exactly the thing that they fought to preserve: the freedom of every American to express our struggles, our fears, our frustrations, and our dreams for a more equal society.
The two-time NBA Champion then went on to recount a recent conversation he had with a veteran. Apparently that veteran brought up many issues that Curry wanted to bring to the forefront:
“He (Michael, the veteran) happened to have 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 percent 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 it’s not just about saluting them or thanking them for their service at the airport — and it’s 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.
At almost every turn our conversation took, Michael found some common ground: from talking about how he’s a Warriors fan (good, good, I like it), to — way more importantly — pointing out how most of the issues that military vets face at home are actually the same as the issues faced by a lot of America. Homelessness, unemployment, mental health and, yes, racial inequality – those are the issues that our vets are facing. These are mostly universal issues, which are being felt in every town in America.”