Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is not happy that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was not included on a Sports Illustrated cover about the protest movement taking place in the sports world.
“It was terrible, just kind of capitalizing on the hoopla and the media and all that nonsense” said Curry, one of the 10 people whose images appear on the cover of the Oct. 2 issue. “The real people that are understanding exactly what’s been going on and who’s really been active and vocal, truly making a difference — you don’t have Kaepernick front and center on that, something’s wrong.”
Kaepernick started the movement last year by refusing to stand for the national anthem before games as a protest against social injustice. A handful of others joined the protest in one way or another, but that number multiplied this past weekend after President Trump commented at a political rally Friday that NFL owners should fire players who don’t stand for the national anthem.
Also on Friday, Curry commented to reporters that he did not want to go to the White House to celebrate the Warriors’ NBA championship, as is tradition in many sports. Trump responded the next morning on Twitter by withdrawing the invitation.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
On the Sports Illustrated cover — which features an edited composite image of the 10 sports figures and the headline “A Nation Divided, Sports United” — Curry is the one who is front and center, appearing to stand arm-in-arm with Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“And me [linked arms with] Roger Goodell? That just makes zero sense at all,” Curry told the Athletic.
Another person who appears in the photo illustration, Warriors coach Steve Kerr, also noted the absence of Kaepernick from the cover.
Sports Illustrated executive editor Steve Cannella tried explaining why Kaepernick was not included.
“In some ways even though his picture’s not there, Colin Kaepernick is there. I think we all know that,” Canella said in a video posted by the magazine on Tuesday. “Colin Kaepernick was, for lack of a better word, was looming over everything that happened this past weekend and looms over many issues in society right now. I thought what we were trying to capture with this cover was the way new voices emerged this weekend and the way this debate, this issue, this protest movement has sort of evolved even beyond Colin Kaepernick.
“He’s the guy who started it all. I think we saw a lot more people in various ways sort of join the movement, for lack of a better term, this weekend. That’s what we were trying to capture with this cover.”