The Warriors' Steph Curry is really unhappy with Sports Illustrated's latest cover, which features him front and center amongst many other athletes who have all joined in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick's protest against police violence.
The problem with the cover, as Curry so helpfully points out, is that Kaepernick isn't shown. The Examiner reports that Curry spoke with reporters after yesterday's Warriors practice, saying "That was terrible. It’s just kind of capitalizing on the hoopla and the media and all that nonsense. The real people that understand exactly what’s been going on, and who’s really been active and vocal and truly making a difference, if you don’t have Kaepernick front and center on that, something’s wrong."
According to a list from The Examiner, instead of Kaepernick, Curry is shown alongside "Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans Saints D-lineman Cameron Jordan and Seattle Seahawks pass-rusher Michael Bennett."
As well, Curry is displayed front-and-center, linking arms with LeBron James and NFL commissioner James Goodell. They also point out that of those present, Khan and Goodell have garnered more than a few curious looks; Khan linked arms with Jacksonville players ahead of Sunday's game, but donated $1 million to Trump's campaign just a few months ago.
Indeed, Kaepernick's absence is more than a bit off-putting — he is the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem way back at the beginning of the 2016 football season when he was still playing for the 49ers. At the time, he did so to signal his dissatisfaction with a country that continuously fails to hold police officers responsible for the violence they inflict on people of color. To Kaepernick, that's always been the point of his protest, but in recent months, many other athletes across a variety of sports have adopted the gesture, including the A's Bruce Maxwell, who became the first Major League Baseball player to kneel during the national anthem this past Saturday. But these recent demonstrations have mostly been used as a means of protesting against the state of the U.S. federal government — namely the Trump administration.
The growing protest has taken the sports world by storm, as it's inspired many conversations around "respectability" and "integrity" with regards to the American flag. The action, in and of itself, is viewed by many as disrespectful and unbefitting a professional athlete. One person who takes issue with the protest is none other than Donald Trump, who tweeted his dissatisfaction with the protesting athletes. He even called out Curry for his decision to buck tradition and not visit the White House as part of a championship victory tour.
Curry certainly wasn't alone in his criticism of the Sports Illustrated cover, and his sentiments regarding how Kaepernick's original message has been lost as of late ring so very, very true.