Golden State Warriors must speak up during trying times

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Kevin Durant
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Kevin Durant /

The Golden State Warriors organization needs to use its voice and influence to inspire and affect change in the world during trying times.

Editor’s note: The views in this piece do not reflect the views of FanSided or BlueManHoop as a whole.

The United States of America is in an extremely unusual place right now. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, it’s hard to deny the strangeness happening all over the country. These are trying times.

Anyone athlete, reporter, analyst, or blog who has ever commented on politics has probably heard that famous three-word phrase: “stick to sports.” The idea is that those who are in the sports world should only stay in that realm. They aren’t allowed to comment on anything else.

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The Golden State Warriors should not stick to sports. They cannot.  They have a responsibility that is bigger than just that.

The Warriors, individually and collectively, have powerful voices. They have the platform to reach out to millions worldwide and even impact change. That is why they have to speak up.

LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar, is the best at this in all of sports. His platform is unmatched in the basketball world and with so much at stake for him and his brand, he refuses to stay silent. James responded to the horrific events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He tweeted his sadness and disappointment in the aftermath of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. The future Hall of Famer also called out Donald Trump and his misguided and poor leadership. This comes as no surprise because James openly campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Ohio.

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and others have a responsibility to speak up like James did. I understand that getting into politics–as a professional athlete–can have negative impacts, particularly in terms of their wallet. Just look at Colin Kaepernick and how no team wants to sign him despite the fact that he’s proven and capable.

But this is bigger than politics. This isn’t right versus left, conservative versus liberal. This battle is more than that.

What happened in Charlottesville and is going on around the world is a matter of right versus wrong. It’s as simple as that. There are the good guys and then there are the Nazis and their sympathizers.

Curry and Durant are two of the biggest sports superstars this planet has to offer. Their voices mean something. They have influence and it’s time they use it.

But, of course, it doesn’t all just fall on them. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala need to get involved, too. So do Steve Kerr and Rick Weltz and Joe Lacob and everyone in between.

During times like these, it’s easy to lose hope. When you see the bad guys overpowering law enforcement with bigger and stronger guns than the police have, it’s disheartening. When a human being is killed in an act of domestic terrorism, it’s saddening and frustrating and demoralizing.

That is why we need our loudest voices to speak up. Curry is often too hesitant to speak on controversial topics even when the right thing to say seems pretty obvious. That needs to change.

The Warriors are leaders in innovation and diversity in many aspects of the organization. Still, their work isn’t done. It’s just beginning.

Many different organizations and figures have denounced that hatred that was on display in Charlottesville and, surely, if they needed to, the Warriors would, too. But this goes beyond that. They need to stand up and be a beacon of hope.

In the past, the Warriors have expressed their views, to varying degrees. The work is just starting though. They are in all in positions of some influence and they can have an impact while being on the right side of history.

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Golden State will probably not go to the White House. Many of the players have opposed the current administration and, more importantly, the key ideas that define it. But what’s happening in the country is bigger–albeit fueled by–this administration.

Curry, Durant, and everyone else associated with the Golden State Warriors need to speak up for the right thing during this crucial period.