Steph Curry has added another piece of NBA hardware to his mantle, despite his season having ended weeks ago. The 35-year-old was named this year’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award recipient.
The four-time NBA champion was announced as this year’s winner on Tuesday (May 24). The award honors those who embody the NBA legend’s efforts in favor of “civil rights, Black empowerment, and racial equality.” Curry joins previous winners, the recent retiree Carmelo Anthony and Dallas Mavericks’ forward Reggie Bullock, and was awarded $100,000 to donate to a charity of his choosing. Steph chose the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice.
“As an athlete, I consistently leverage my platform to amplify advocacy and address the pervasive issue of systemic racism,” the father of three said in a statement. “I firmly believe that we must be vocal both on social media and in real life, taking tangible actions to effect real change in our society and for generations to come.”
Curry has his hand in multiple movements that align with what the award honors, namely Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” initiative alongside Chris Paul, Megan Rapinoe, and Janelle Monáe. “When We All Vote” focuses on increasing “participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap.” Curry has also advocated for the passing of the Freedom To Vote Act, which is geared toward bolstering voter registration and voting access.
The Golden State Warriors superstar has been instrumental in education as well, providing scholarships for high school athletes through his UNDERRATED brand. He also donated $6 million to the men’s and women’s golf teams at historically Black college Howard University in 2019.
The sole unanimous MVP in NBA history joined forces with his wife, Ayesha Curry, on the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation which pushes for children’s nutrition and physical activity. The foundation, originally started in Oakland, Calif. before the Warriors moved to San Francisco, provided over 2 million meals and 500,000 books to Oakland students, in addition to remodeling four playgrounds.
This comes after a disappointing end to the season for Curry and the Golden State Warriors. They found themselves as the sixth seed in the Western Conference, narrowly avoiding the play-in tournament just one year after winning the NBA Championship. Injuries and internal issues followed them into the playoffs, as it took them seven games to eliminate the fast-rising Sacramento Kings team. They proceeded to lose in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers in the following round.