Sports Illustrated, in an attempt to glom onto the movement of pro athletes reacting to Donald Trump’s comments before last weekend, put Stephen Curry front-and-center on its newest cover.
The magazine announced the illustration in a tweet Wednesday morning that read, in part, “In a nation divided, the sports world is coming together.” It features Curry linking arms with LeBron James and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 26, 2017
Behind him is Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker, Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans Saints D-lineman Cameron Jordan and Seattle Seahawks pass-rusher Michael Bennett.
Some had a legitimate claim to being placed there — like the athletes who kept in mind the original intention of protesting during the national anthem, which is to point out the inequalities systematically enforced in America. Others, like Khan — who linked arms with his players before last week’s game, months after donating $1 million to Trump’s campaign — and Goodell raised eyebrows.
But, there’s one person whose omission is the most striking: Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first player courageous enough to risk his career to take a stand.
“That was terrible. It’s just kind of capitalizing on the hoopla and the media and all that nonsense,” Curry told reporters after the Warriors wrapped up practice on Wednesday. “The real people that understand exactly what’s been going on, and who’s really been active and vocal and truly making a difference, if you don’t have Kaepernick front and center on that, something’s wrong.”
Kaepernick’s erasure spurred widespread criticism of the cover. Curry booed the cover in a comment on Instagram shortly after it was released.
“It’s about the true message and really highlighting the people that are doing the right thing,” Curry said.