Stephen Curry Blasts Sports Illustrated 'Unity' Cover for Not Including Colin Kaepernick

Stephen Curry Blasts Sports Illustrated 'Unity' Cover for Not Including Colin Kaepernick

A few days ago, Sports Illustrated revealed a cover addressing the protests against police brutality and racial inequality via kneeling during the national anthem. The cover was supposed to represent the increasing unity between professional athletes (particularly in the NFL) in protesting both the original issues first brought to attention in this fashion by Colin Kaepernick, as well as the responses by President Trump. There was only one problem: Sports Illustrated didn't include Kaepernick on the cover.

In a very bizarre editorial decision, Sports Illustrated recently released the cover shown below.

The front row shows LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Roger Goodell linking arms, representing the unity professional athletes and sports organizations have shown as the national anthem protests continue to generate controversy. James and Curry recently jumped to front of the issue when Curry declined an invitation to the White House (typically extended to championship teams of major sports), prompting the president to rescind the invitation, which then prompted James to fire back at the president. Goodell, as commissioner of the NFL, appears there as the head of the sport at the center of the controversy, having recently called the president's comments "divisive" and saying he was "proud" of the league's response this past Sunday. 

James, Curry, and Goodell are certainly three logical figures to have on the cover given the situation, but many immediately pointed out that it was not who was on the cover, but who wasn't, namely Colin Kaepernick, whose initial kneeling protest last year was the genesis of the current situation. Stephen Curry himself called it "terrible," saying:

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, then something’s wrong.

Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Steven Cannella defended the cover, saying it was meant to show the emerging "unity" of the sports world and saying "in some ways, even though his picture is not there, Colin Kaepernick is there," and mentioning that the cover was meant to show the new and emerging voices.

Even with that explanation, it seems utterly bizarre to not put Kaepernick on the cover, given his pivotal role. What are you thoughts? Regardless of your stance on the protests, was the imagery chosen for the cover an appropriate representation from a photographic standpoint? 

[via Deadspin]

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91 Comments

Anonymous's picture

Calling millions of people idiots because they don't share your political views isn't arrogance???

Anonymous's picture

Yes. Darn us coastal liberals. At our meetings it's just, "How can we destroy our civilization? I want my kids to grow up in a Mad Max like dystopia. Ooh I know, let's say we're going to try and reduce cancer-causing pollution in our water, but really our secret goal is to destroy jobs. Wink wink."

A fact is a statement that can be proven true or false. An opinion is an expression of a person's feelings that cannot be proven. Opinions can be based on facts or emotions and sometimes they are meant to deliberately mislead others.

Learn the difference.

Damn, generalize much?! Lumping huge portions of the country into one group based solely on their location is not only inaccurate and laughable, it's not helping the situation.

Victor Gonzales's picture

Damn @Bill Reed, I was just about to say the same about you backwoods rednecks being a cancer to the country. I am sorry if the post has upset you. Don't worry, you can talk about it at your Klan Support meeting later tonight

Alex Cooke's picture

This article isn't about politics; please reread the last line: "Regardless of your stance on the protests, was the imagery chosen for the cover an appropriate representation from a photographic standpoint?"

Alex Cooke's picture

Sure it is. All it takes is some critical thinking and self control.

This article lacks a bit of context to be understandable by anyone not very familiar with the US internal matters. For example: who is Colin Kaepernick? Was he there when the photo was taken and Sports Illustrated decided to specifically exclude him from the cover? If he wasn't then what is the problem?

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

God created Google for that

Anonymous's picture

He could do that but does the author or Fstoppers want him to leave their site to do so?

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

Why not? The web is called "web" for something. Is a rich, interconnected environment.
I don't know how the author thinks about the issue, but I know I think is ok to left the site in search for the context of the history.
Is a delicate equilibrium, and normally less is more. The three rules of journalism are "have something to say, say it, shut up once said". Where anyone set the dividing lines are the tricky part!

Anonymous's picture

I'm looking at it from a web authoring point of view. I never want my audience to leave the site I'm developing. From a consumer's point of view, you're absolutely right.

Samuel Flores Sanchez's picture

I understand that in a personal web, but I don't think is applicable in a community with articles and forums. But I can be wrong, my vision is, like you said, from a user experience point of view.
Thanks for your clarification!

Alex Cooke's picture

Colin Kaepernick is an NFL quarterback who gained notice at the beginning of the 2016 season when he sat down for the first 2 weeks during the national anthem, then transitioned to kneeling (out of more respect for those who served, he said) as a silent protest against police brutality and racial discrimination. The photo is Photoshopped.

Elan Govan's picture

Funny you should mention this. Apparently..they do in Cambridge University. https://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/directory/subject-groups/american-history

Anonymous's picture

Decades of woman beating, rapes, illegal drug use, gambling, dog fighting and all of a sudden the sports world cares about social justice.

Alex Cooke's picture

One could say the same about the fans who are only now boycotting the NFL. Regardless, the last line of the article mentions that I'm concerned with the photographic choices made; this writeup isn't about the politics.

Anonymous's picture

Excellent point. I guess that's why you're a big shot Fstoppers author and we're just trying to keep up with inane comments. ;-)

Ed Sanford's picture

This is a photography forum. We don't need this nonsense here. I am not going to a game because I don't want to see these misguided, misinformed, uneducated players act out. Most don't even know why they are kneeling.

Alex Cooke's picture

Sorry you think it's nonsense. But I'm not going to ignore an example of the power imagery has in our culture, because if I do, then there's no reason for me to be in photography in the first place. If you'll reread the article, particularly the last line, you'll notice I went to great care not to inject my personal stance on the matter and talk specifically about the photographic choices made.

Ed Sanford's picture

Sorry that you bit the red herring like all the rest writing about this. If you really want to use your photography for social justice, why don't you be original and do a composite of all the black children in St. Louis and Chicago killed by stray bullets from drug gangs. Why don't you do a composite of young black men killed before reaching manhood in the city of Baltimore. With this article all you are doing is piling on to the false narrative started by those who don't bother to investigate below the surface of current events. These so-called heroes do their kneel, play the game, then go back to driving their Ferraris and getting multiple young women pregnant with children who will enter the cycle of urban violence.

Anonymous's picture

What makes you say they don't know why they're kneeling? It's not a difficult concept. Police brutality is a problem that fails to live up to the promise of America. The flag is a symbol of America's promise so they kneel to mourn America failing to live up to its promise. Not so hard to understand.

Anonymous's picture

That, of course, is why Colin started kneeling (along with some prodding by his hottie girlfriend :-) ) but the recent movement is more of a reaction to being told not to, which, of course, nobody likes.

Anonymous's picture

Not just that they're being told not to, but why they're being told not to. When Kim Davis brought her political beliefs to work she was celebrated by the same people criticizing the NFL players.

Anonymous's picture

You could be right. I don't know what anyone thinks. Your point about Kim Davis is well made, though. While I'm not a fan of same sex marriage, I think her method of protesting was wrong. She should have quit her job.

Anonymous's picture

And she was also a tax payer supported employee which Kaepernick was not (though many stadiums are subsidized).

The subtext to this also is that there doesn't seem to be any good time or place for African-American's to speak about injustice. This image has a point.

People are not saying they can't say what they want to say, just that they don't want them to ever say it where anyone else can hear it.

Anonymous's picture

I don't like to lump things together so it's difficult to have this kind of conversation in a venue like this. Suffice to say, I agree with you in principle.

Anonymous's picture

For some reason, posts are out of order on my computer so I can't be sure what I was responding to in order to give you an accurate response. Having seen a similar disorder on another computer, it may have something to do with Fstopper's site.

Anonymous's picture

I tried that. Didn't work. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ed Sanford's picture

Don't talk to me about police brutality until we face the real problem of black on black crime especially murder. More black men were killed in Chicago last week by other black men than killed by white policemen in a year. This s what I mean about misinformed. Go read the transcript of what the black grand jury and black witnesses found in Ferguson. There was no "hands up don't shoot". Not one of these kneeling athletes will go into the community and talk to young black men in a manner that helps them grow like I have. So yes, they are misguided and misinformed.

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