Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and star forward Draymond Green vocalized support for the united front of NFL and NBA athletes over the weekend during the Warriors third day of training camp at the Rakuten Training Center Monday afternoon.
Amid a politically charged start to their preseason, Kerr stood behind his team and Stephen Curry’s media day comments:
“The times call for it.”
Green, known for being the most vocal player on the Warriors, said he wasn’t surprised that Curry voiced hesitancy toward visiting the White House.
Curry’s comments incited a retort from President Trump, who tweeted Saturday he was rescinding the Warriors’ invitation, even though the invitation was never formally announced. Trump’s response to Curry — and his vocal backlash to NFL player protests — sent waves of reaction through the sports world all weekend.
Though Curry’s media day comments seemed to be the catalyst of a politically infused weekend in sports, Green said Curry should not be seen as a scapegoat for those who don’t share his viewpoints:
“It’s easy to say oh man, Steph Curry caused this confusion … If you think that, then you missed the point.”
Green echoed “missing the point” in reference to critics who believe that refusing to take part in the national anthem is a sign of disrespect to the armed forces:
“I hope that there can be an understanding that this isn’t against the military, it’s not to disrespect anything that they do.”
President Trump used rhetoric to fuel support from his supporters in Alabama Friday, painting athletes as unpatriotic who use their public platform to bring attention to issues plaguing the nation.
Green challenged that notion, saying he has “utmost respect” for the men and women who serve in the armed forces:
“We get out here and play a game.You lose you go home, you win you go home… loss for them is life.”
He said anyone presenting the peaceful protest as an attack against patriotism is just trying to distract from the real issues at hand. Green said he hopes the conversation fueled by the weekend’s events doesn’t die down anytime soon:
“It’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks … so no I don’t think it will be gone in a few weeks.”
Klay Thompson, seeming less consumed by the political commentary, supported Green’s thoughts on keeping the dialogue going:
“I see progress and I think if it continues, I think good things can come from it.”
As for what action the Warriors may take during the national anthem this season, and the team’s specific plans for their visit to the capital in February, Thompson said they will deal with it when it comes, but until then he is just looking forward to a day off Tuesday.