NEW YORK — Golden State’s Steph Curry was selected as this season’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion, the NBA announced Tuesday.
The league will donate $100,000 on Curry’s behalf to the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice. He is the third winner of the award, after Carmelo Anthony in 2021 and Reggie Bullock last year.
The four other finalists — the Celtics’ Grant Williams, Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Grizzlies, the Spurs’ Tre Jones, and Chris Paul of the Suns — will each receive $25,000 donations from the NBA to social justice organizations of their choosing.
Curry’s off-court interests related to social justice are many. He’s a co-chair of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” initiative, to help drive voter registration, education and turnout. He participated in the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition’s “Freedom to Vote” social media campaign to help advocate for the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act in the U.S. Senate.
And when the Warriors visited the White House this season to meet President Joe Biden and commemorate their 2022 NBA title, Curry met with the president to discuss issues of community safety.
“As an athlete, I consistently leverage my platform to amplify advocacy and address the pervasive issue of systemic racism,” Curry said. “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 also worked to support underrepresented groups, championing gender equity in sports, trying to provide opportunity for often-overlooked student-athletes, and committed $6 million in funding to the men’s and women’s golf team at Howard University. And through a nonprofit he founded with his wife Ayesha, Curry has helped provide over 2 million meals and 500,000 books to students in Oakland, Calif., plus funded more than 1,500 teacher-led classroom literacy projects and remodeled four new play spaces.
The award was created to recognize players who are making strides in the fight for social justice. Each NBA team nominates one player for consideration; from there, five finalists are selected and ultimately one winner is chosen.
Abdul-Jabbar is part of the selection committee, which also includes director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport Dr. Richard Lapchick; National Urban League president and CEO Marc Morial; UnidosUS president and CEO Janet Murguía; Rise Founder and CEO Amanda Nguyen; and NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum.