The Golden State Warriors basketball player penned a heartfelt essay for his daughters about equality.
Basketball superstar Steph Curry doesn’t want his daughters to have to jump through hoops to be treated or paid the same as men.
The 30-year-old Golden State Warriors basketball player wrote an essay for the Players Tribune about the hardworking women in his life — including his mother, Sonya, who opened up her own school, and his wife, celebrity chef and entrepreneur Ayesha Curry — and how they’ve inspired him to champion for women’s rights. The sentiment hits close to home now more than ever as he raises his own daughters, 6-year-old Riley Curry, and 3-year-old Ryan Curry.
“For my whole life, really, I feel like I’ve been receiving this education on what it means to be a woman in America … I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the idea of women’s equality has become a little more personal for me, lately, and a little more real,” Curry wrote.
“I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big, and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly. And of course: paid equally,” he continued.
Curry was alluding to the gender pay gap that still exists in America, with full-time working women making about 80 cents for each $1 a man earns. And despite women earning roughly 60% of both undergraduate and master’s degrees, and making up more than half of all professional-level jobs, they are less present at the top of the corporate ladder. Women make up only 25% of executive and senior-level managers at S&P 500 companies, and less than 1 in 10 CEOS.
“It’s important that we all come together to figure out how we can make that possible, as soon as possible. Not just as ‘fathers of daughters,’ or for those sorts of reasons. And not just on Women’s Equality Day. Every day — that’s when we need to be working to close the pay gap in this country,” Curry wrote, adding that the pay gap is discouraging young women to pursue their full potential: “Every day is when the pay gap is sending the wrong message to women about who they are, and how they’re valued, and what they can or cannot become.”
Curry is also coaching young women on achieving success and pushing them to strive to do their best. The Ohio native hosted a basketball camp for 200 young girls recently with talks by female speakers like Ariel Johnson Lin, a VP at JPMorgan Chase & Co., answering career-focused questions. Curry says the all-girls basketball camp will be implemented annually with hopes of changing the separation of “women’s” and “men’s” basketball.
“When someone sees an NBA player is hosting a camp, now, you know — maybe they won’t automatically assume it’s for boys. Eventually we can get to a place where the women’s game, it isn’t “women’s basketball.” It’s just basketball. Played by women, and celebrated by everyone,” he said.
While Curry was happy with the turnout from his basketball camp, he says there’s more work to be done: “While that moment was satisfying … I’m not even close to satisfied. In fact, I’m feeling more driven than ever — to help out women who are working toward progress, in any way that I can.”
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