When a 9-year-old girl from Napa, California, wanted to buy a pair of Steph Curry’s signature Curry shoes from Under Armour, she was disappointed.
Riley Morrison is a Golden State Warriors fan and loves to play basketball, so she was excited to buy the perfect pair of shoes. But she soon found out that Under Armour doesn’t produce the line in girls’ sizes.
Riley was disappointed, but she decided to be proactive about the problem.
So, she contacted the head honcho himself, Steph Curry.
“I asked my dad to buy me the new Curry 5’s because I’m starting a new basketball season,” she wrote. “My dad and I visited the Under Armour website and were disappointed to see that there were no Curry 5’s for sale under the girls’ section. However, they did have them for sale under the boy’s section, even to customize. I know you support girl athletes because you have two daughters and you host an all-girls basketball camp. I hope you can work with Under Armour to change this because girls want to rock the Curry 5’s too.”
To her surprise, Curry — who has a daughter also named Riley — took the time to respond to her personally with a handwritten letter posted on his Twitter account.
“I appreciate your concern and have spent the last 2 days talking to Under Armour about how we can fix the issue,” he wrote back to Riley. “Unfortunately, we have labeled smaller sizes as ‘boys’ on the website. We are correcting this NOW! I want to make sure you can wear my kicks proudly — so I am going to send you a pair of Curry 5’s now AND you’ll be one of the first kids to get the Curry 6.”
But people who are familiar with the NBA all-star’s work won’t find it surprising that he responded so passionately to a young girl.
Curry has a long history of being outspoken about women’s rights, especially when it comes to his own daughters.
He’s spoken out in the past about the gender pay gap and the importance of giving athletic opportunities to girls as well as boys. Curry hosts an all-girls’ basketball camp and knows the importance of putting his words into practice when it comes to his own children.
He says he learned about how to treat women from his own mother.
“Always stay listening to women to always stay believing in women, and — when it comes to anyone’s expectations for women — to always stay challenging the idea of what’s right,” Curry said.
For Curry, giving women the same respect he gives men is clearly not a hypothetical. Back in August 2018, he wrote an op-ed for The Players’ Tribune entitled “This is Personal.”
In the article, Curry wrote about the inspiration he received from his mother, Sonya; his wife, Ayesha; and now, his daughters. But more than inspiration, he says he’s learned from them about what it means to live as a woman in America in the 21st century.
He said the thought of gender equality, especially in the workplace, has become more personal to him since he became a father to girls.
But Curry doesn’t just want his girls to be paid according to their worth. He also wants them to know that they are not limited in any way by the fact that they are women.
2018 also brought a new challenge for the Curry family: the birth of their first son, Canon. Curry says he’s also invested in teaching Canon the same values as his girls. But there are other challenges, he says, because even in 2018, he’ll have advantages that his sisters don’t have purely because he’s a boy.
The bottom line of the NBA all-star’s message?
Gender equality is something that we need to strive for every day — not just on Women’s Appreciation Day or Equality Day. Men and women alike need to actively come together daily with the knowledge that everyone is equal.
Sometimes, that means something as minor as responding to the letter of a 9-year-old girl who needs some basketball shoes.
Riley’s parents are amazingly proud that she took the initiative to write to her hero and ask him to correct an injustice.
They say his response made her incredibly happy.
“Here’s the truth,” wrote Curry in his August op-ed. “You’re not world-class if you’re not actively about inclusion.”
He obviously puts his beliefs into practice. As for Riley, she won’t stop rooting for the Warriors anytime soon.
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— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 29, 2018