Friday it was Colin Kaepernick and the football players who took a knee in silent, peaceful protest during the national anthem. Yesterday it was Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors who became the target for world’s most overgrown toddler – Donald Trump.
Like many athletes these days, Steph Curry found himself pondering what it would mean to shake hands with Donald Trump at the White House. As per usual custom, the Golden State Warriors were invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate their NBA championship, and the question came up as to whether or not Steph (who is the defacto face of the franchise) would go. On the one hand, this is something most kids dream about, winning a championship, getting the ring and having your picture taken at the White House while the president holds his custom jersey. However, children of color do not dream about having to shake hands with a president who panders and legitimizes white supremacists and neo-nazis.
Going to the White House and shaking hands with Trump (who happens to be the current occupant of the Oval Office) could give the impression that you’re okay with his behavior and policies. For a person of color and a role model for millions of little kids, that is something that Steph Curry couldn’t take lightly. So when asked about it, he was honest in saying he just didn’t think he wanted to go.
Queue the temper tantrum tweet from Trump, withdrawing the invitation to the entire team. Instead of acting like an adult and seeing this as an opportunity to repair things, Trump did what Trump does – he lashed out. How dare anyone not want to come kneel before him and kiss his rings? The backlash from the sporting world over this and the “son of a bitch” tantrum directed at the NFL has been swift, but it falls on deaf ears. Trump’s life is designed to make sure he only sees the positive feedback, his need for constant ego stroking and reassurance growing exponentially every day.
Trump could have taken the high road, he could have responded saying he was disappointed that Curry felt that way and that some things should transcend politics, but he is incapable of such grace and dignity. Instead, Trump was the 6 year-old bully on the playground loudly telling everyone that he was taking his toys and going home – but only because no one wanted to play with him.
Wendy Luxenburg writes for Palmer Report