Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry’s plea on Veterans Day is simple: respect and celebrate our veterans.
In an article for The Players’ Tribune published on Saturday, Curry penned a heartfelt message not only calling for more support for veterans, but also addressing the perception of himself and other athletes who have engaged in peaceful protests being seen as “disrespecting the military, our flag and our country.”
He said he takes the accusations of disrespecting the military “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,” Curry wrote. “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.”
Curry went on to discuss the conversations he’s had with veterans, all of whom have said athletes’ recent protests aren’t disrespectful to them:
“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 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.”
Curry said he recently met a veteran named Michael who told him about his life and the recent struggles he is going through after serving in Afghanistan and transitioning back into society. He offered Curry advice on how he could help raise awareness for some of the issues the veterans just like him were going through, in addition to boiling it down to one thing:
“Michael told me that our veterans need real action,” Curry wrote. “They need real help with medical services, and access to jobs, and readjusting to society.”
Curry’s plea on Veteran’s Day concluded with this simple message:
“Let’s respect — let’s celebrate — our veterans, by having a conversation about the actual ways that we as civilians, as their fellow Americans they’ve fought to protect, can hold up our end of the bargain. Let’s talk about the broken VA medical system, and traumatic brain injuries, and PTSD. But let’s also talk about homelessness, and unemployment, and mental health, and, yes, racial inequality.”
Within The Players’ Tribune piece, Curry also addressed the tweet from President Donald Trump, officially rescinding his – and the Warriors – invitation to visit the White House.
“You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but, man, it was … surreal. It was the morning before our first day of practice, so I was getting in a good sleep. And when I woke up — I mean before I even saw the tweet, or knew what was going on — I had about 30 text messages, all at once. Just blowing up my phone. They were all these friends of mine, just, like, defending me, and telling me that I was right, and, you know, not to worry about it. But I had no idea what they were even talking about.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr took to Twitter shortly after Curry’s article was published, tweeting, “Please read this. So proud to coach @StephenCurry30.”