Steph, Warriors explain grand significance of White House visit originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
WASHINGTON DC -- To understand the significance of the White House visit for the Warriors, you have to start with the holiday before -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
These occasions on back-to-back days had the Warriors feeling empowered about what they can accomplish with their platform.
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“That definitely amplified it I think,” Warriors star Steph Curry said Tuesday, standing outside the White House in front of a massive group of reporters, the size of which isn’t typically seen until the playoffs.
“We’ve been aware of what Dr. King has meant, and his legacy. We’re working every year on that holiday. That’s another time to reflect on ... how to amplify his message in our daily lives.”
One of the messages is equality. In sports terms, you might call it leveling the playing field.
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That’s something Steph did for Howard University, an HBCU in Washington D.C. In 2019, Curry made a six-year financial commitment to help bump Howard’s golf team into Division I play.
In April 2022, the golf team celebrated its first MEAC championship. Curry applauded the golf team getting its championship rings at halftime of Howard’s basketball game on MLK Day.
“Add that to the White House visit,” Steph continued, “And when we came back from 2016, we had some of the same conversations when President Obama was in office. We talked about gun control specifically because of [coach Steve] Kerr’s background. I got to talk a little bit about my foundation. I think it’s an understanding that sports are important; basketball is important, it brings people together. We all have platforms and are blessed that people listen to what we say.
“It’s a matter of continuing the conversations that need to be had.”
During the championship celebration ceremony in the White House’s East Wing on Tuesday, President Joe Biden pointed out the issues the Warriors have embraced.
“Standing up for equality. Encouraging people to vote. Allowing children and their families to eat healthy and learn and play in safe places. Rallying the country against gun violence,” Biden said, turning specifically to Kerr.
“Coach, I want to thank you again."
Before the ceremony, Kerr, Klay Thompson, and Moses Moody were part of a roundtable discussion with White House staffers about gun control measures.
As the Warriors processed the day, Draymond Green thought about his childhood.
“As a kid growing up in Saginaw, Michigan, you only dream of seeing the White House.”
Now Draymond has been twice, following up the team’s visit in 2016 during the Obama Administration.
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Draymond noted Barack Obama was the first Black President, and Vice President Kamala Harris is the first woman of color to fill the VP role.
“I think the growth in this country is pretty great,” Draymond said. “We have a long ways to go. But I also think there are times when we forget to celebrate where we have gotten as well. Those are two [people] you can look at and say 10 years go, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, it would have never happened.”
“We’re moving forward, but we need to continue to make progress.”