Steph Curry: Basketball Player, Father, and Advocate for Women’s Equality

There’s this miracle happening in sports right now. And before it’s over, it deserves to be documented. Let the record state, “Steph Curry is fighting for women’s equality, in life, in sports, in everything.”

Published in The Players’ Tribune, Curry voices his support for equality with ‘This is Personal’, reflecting a constellation of thoughts centered on his daughters and how they have made women’s equality much more of a reality for him.

Steph traces his long-standing viewpoint on equality to being raised by Sonya, his mother, and being Ayesha Curry’s husband, stating, “For my whole life, really, I feel like I’ve been receiving this education on what it means to be a woman in America.”

However, the birth of daughters Riley and Ryan have only strengthened his belief in women’s equality. What having a daughter-or two-means to Steph is a little more complex than the typical father-daughter relationship; it does not mean the occasional tea-party or coaching the little-league soccer team. Steph strongly believes that his girls, and frankly all girls, should grow up in a world where gender does not act as rulebook, in a world where they can strive for any career imaginable and receive fair treatment.

Curry stresses the importance of making this world a reality as soon as possible, yet not just from the standpoint of a father of daughters. He understands that women’s equality should be fought for every day-not just on Women’s Equality Day- because the pay gap affects women daily. And this pay gap does not only affect women paycheck-wise, but also sends “the wrong message to women about who they are, and how they’re valued, and what they can or cannot become.”

Not only is Curry using his platform to raise awareness for women’s equality, but he is also acting on his beliefs, hosting his first annual basketball camp for girls. Curry’s goal was for the girls to have a fun experience on the court, but he also wanted to shift the common perspective that a basketball camp hosted by an NBA player is only for boys. Curry sees the diminishing stereotypes placed among women’s basketball and the need to cease the bias, stating, “Eventually we can get to a place where the women’s game isn’t ‘women’s basketball.’ It’s just basketball, played by women and celebrated by everyone.”

Ariel Johnson Lin, a VP at JPMorgan Chase & Co responded with the advice, “Be yourself. Be good, and try to be great — but always be yourself”, to how her position would shift based on the gender imbalance of the workplace in the scenario of having a great idea in an important meeting comprised of solely men besides herself.  This question sustained Steph’s realization that inequality in the workplace is an expectation of young women living in 2018.

Holding this camp and watching Riley and Ryan grow has only ignited Steph’s drive to help women working towards progress. This inspiration has also highlighted the importance of team work in all things, as he concludes, “Let’s work to close the opportunity gap. Let’s work to close the pay gap. And let’s work together on this.”

“To be a true supporter of women’s equality — it’s not enough anymore to be learning about it. You have to be doing it.”

It is pretty groundbreaking for one of the most top-paid athletes in the world to come forward and use his platform to spread the message and importance of women’s equality. For one, if not the most well-known names in basketball to state that the women’s game should not be ‘women’s basketball’, but simply basketball with equal pay, is definitely a three-pointer.

Let the record state that the conversation on women’s equality is changing in this world, and that Steph Curry is bringing hope to girls, women, mothers, and daughters everywhere.

Send us your thoughts!