Tag Archive | Golden State Warriors

Well Done Riley

Riley Curry

Riley Curry

The media went crazy Tuesday night when Steph Curry brought his daughter Riley onto the podium during his post-game interview.  And by crazy, I mean overreacting to a two year old livening up what would have otherwise been a boring interview that we have all seen countless times before.

The major complaints from a few uptight sportswriters was that adorable Riley took away from the integrity of the post-game interview, causing distractions after an MVP caliber type performance from the overlooked and then scrawny kid who played for Davidson back in 2008.

I saw the whole interview take place live, and not only did Steph Curry continue to answer questions, but he did so while keeping the corner of his eye on Riley to ensure she didn’t fall off the stage when she went under the skirt of the table to wave hi to the folks in the media.

Derrick Rose, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, and many other NBA players have brought their kids to the press conference after games.  Although I don’t recall any of their kids going under the table and laughing and yawning during the interview, there is obviously no rule that states players aren’t allowed to bring their kids to the microphone.

But what caught my attention the most wasn’t that these sexually frustrated sportswriters were so uptight about what happened.  I do understand they had deadlines to meet and that Riley was a bit exploratory in the interview room.

What bothers me is the fact that we, as a society, have totally lost our ability to appreciate moments like the one from the other night.  An unscripted, unplanned event, unfolding in front of millions of television sets across America, featuring one of the hottest families in major sports today.  Coming off an MVP season, in the midst of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA, Steph Curry is about to become a father for the second time as his wife Ayesha is far along into her pregnancy.  Curry has shown nothing but humility throughout his professional career thus far, striving with dedication and passion to show the world his perfected craft of shooting, which also helps elevate his teammates level of play to the point where they dominated the regular season and the playoffs so far.

Then we add the adorable aspect of a toddler who is two and a half, exuding curiosity and showing us our continuous common humanity.  She reminded us of what is really important at the end of the day.  Win or lose, as a player or as a fan, we always have our loved ones and cherished people in our lives that make it all worthwhile.  She shed light into areas of the Curry family that are usually unavailable for the public to see.  If those members of the media who complained were a bit looser with their sphincters, they would have seen that the story being revealed was perhaps a rare sight to see, and they would have treasured it more. But instead, they were too busy feeling like their needs weren’t being met: they didn’t get the predictable cliché answers offered by every star athlete after games.

Riley spiced up the interview in unprecedented ways, creating all sorts of photo opportunities and quotes for the media to feast on, yet these select few sports journalists had such tight sphincters that they had to soothe their egos from the break in routine by hiding behind and over-exaggerating the importance of their roles as medial folk.

Are we that disconnected from the tenderness and playfulness of childhood that we look down and preach about the little negativity or distraction, if any, that transpired during the interview?

Me?  I think there was a key lesson here for the sportswriters who were uptight and complaining.  We don’t always get what we want, and instead of complaining when we don’t and throwing tantrums, perhaps there are nuggets in those unexpected moments where we can extract a different story and leave with gems we didn’t expect to come across in the first place.

Well done Riley.

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Equal Attention Discrimination

donald_sterlingAs soon as TMZ released the alleged tape Donald Sterling’s racist remarks towards his girlfriend V. Stiviano for posting pictures of herself hanging out with Magic Johnson on Instagram, the African American community immediately issued statements requesting Sterling be removed as the Los Angeles Clippers owner. All of this coming at a very bad time during a playoff battle against the Golden State Warriors en route to a possible NBA championship run for the Larry O’Brien trophy that now, very few people want to see the players on the Clippers earn for Sterling to hoist.

First I must say the African American community has always responded quickly to ignorant, divisive, and racist remarks towards these types of social issues. They are incredibly cohesive, organized, and collaborate so well. When Trayvon Martin was shot to Rodney King, and even towards the reactions of OJ Simpson and the jury’s verdict, the African American community always reacts fast and shares their opinions on sensitive social issues regarding other high profile African Americans or affiliates.

But the teamwork and cultural awareness didn’t happen overnight. People paid in blood sweat and tears for centuries as dignity was hard won and fought for before others were able to arrive at equal treatment, to eat at the same table at restaurants and attend the same schools.

Even now there still remains ignorance and hidden discrimination amongst the American population. But at least backlash is immediately imminent when people voice their discriminatory views.

Yet, if this were a transgender situation with the same backstory except the one minor difference of substituting a famous transgender woman in place of Magic Johnson, I assure you the results would have been quite different: muted, ignored, and dismissed.

I could have guaranteed there would have been very little comparative public outcry.

Why is that?

Is it because people erroneously assume w are making a sinful choice when we present our true selves in a gender non-conforming way? Is it because we are fragmented as a community? Is my friend Callan correct in saying our disconnect as a community is because we lack allies? Because we are so busy pinpointing who we aren’t instead of focusing on who we are, finding out actual presentation and identities?

I think it’s a combination of all of these factors, and the fragmentation really hurts us as a community. In addition to having no default group of individual to represent us, we have so many in the community who play crabs in the barrel with one another. Forget the fact that drag queens, transvestites, crossdressers, and transsexuals pick on each other and segregate themselves. Transsexuals are very ticky tack amongst themselves. It’s very common to hear comments as “That’s not her real hair” or “She isn’t fulltime, what does she know” in sneering and condescending attitudes.

And finding a group or individual to represent transgender people is very difficult, if not impossible, due to how fluid the nature of gender really is and the many ways on the continuum in which we can authentically choose to express ourselves.

So what are some steps we can take to increase acceptance and inclusion within our own community? I think it is very important to stand up for other transgender people. But in order for us to do that successfully we must first learn to stand up for ourselves and embrace our own individual differences. If I can’t accept, love, and stand up for myself, then I certainly can’t do it effectively for others in my community.

We must also show inclusion for those who fall on different parts of the gender spectrum; empathy for those who face ostracism from family upon coming out; and patience for those who are at a different stage of transition than we are.

We must embrace our queerness, and reject the binaries and judgments associated with being different and, rather, see ourselves as who we truly are: unique.

We must start forming alliances of allies where, through our cohesion of loving self and other transgender people, we then start being heard.

And then, and only then, will we hold enough clout and attention for respect when discriminated against in a similar situation by the Donald Sterlings out there.