By Marty Fenn – The NFL announced earlier this week it would play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” more commonly known as the Black national anthem, prior to each Week 1 matchup. It would seem the gesture is part of the NFL’s hopes to empower Black voices. But Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is not convinced.
Perhaps Stephen Curry thinks this gesture is more shallow in nature. Indeed, the NFL has a history of subjugating Black voices, notably Colin Kaepernick.
That said, it is hard to ignore the league is also trying to rectify past wrongs, in a complicated situation Stephen Curry is also trying to wrestle with. Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the NFL was wrong in its handling of past player protests, also announcing the league would be donating $250 million over a 10-year period towards the advancement of social justice and racial equality.
Players, coaches and even some owners have taken part in dialogue regarding racial injustice and how it impacts their respective organizations. The needle does appear to be moving in the right direction, though Curry’s reaction is understandable.
Meanwhile, Stephen Curry and his peers might have a bone to pick with Adam Silver.
The NBA Commissioner recently said he and the league would “deal” with players deciding to kneel during the national anthem, citing an old rule dating back to David Stern’s tenure. While Silver acknowledged the “role” of protests, he did not outright say he would modify or change the rule.
Stephen Curry probably knows that while the NBA is currently regarded as a league which affords players ample opportunity to protest and speak their minds, players like Craig Hodges experienced black-balling of their own in the 1990s.
Regardless, it seems professional sports as a whole are navigating the best ways to represent and advocate for the Black community. Stephen Curry is trying to calibrate his approach in this complicated situation.
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