One thing that I've learned over the past year and a half is that it's much easier to preach unity and support than actually taking action.
Sure, I already knew this, but the events that have transpired since Spring 2020 have highlighted the difference between performative allyship and doing something to really help those you say need it. We've seen it on a macro-level when it comes to racial and social justice and health around the world, and on a more micro-level within our sports bubble.
Just the other day, Steph Curry took action in our sports bubble by announcing he and his wife Ayesha would be donating an undisclosed amount of money to his alma mater, Davidson College, to start a scholarship foundation for the school's female athletes.
"The Currys' gift and vision provide an unprecedented push forward for Davidson Athletics and our exceptional scholar-athletes," Davidson athletic director Chris Clunie said in a statement. "Beyond Davidson, the Currys are sending an important message about addressing the broad inequity in women's athletics and the importance of unlocking opportunities today and into the future."
There have been countless displays of discrepancies between men's and women's collegiate sports over the years. Most recently, it was the differences between the basketball amenities provided during the NCAA tournament bubbles in March.
In professional sports, women have spoken about needing a second job during their offseason to bring in enough income to support their families, or missing games or arriving late because they take commercial flights and transportation. The US women's soccer team has been in a long legal battle for pay equity.
When things like this happen, many of their male counterparts speak out. They tweet their support for the women and call on the institutions to do better. They condemn the disparities between them. But, their action never seems to go further than that.
Earlier this year, Curry's teammate Draymond Green made comments saying that if women want to see a difference in their situations, they have to stop "complaining" and start taking well-planned actions aimed at fixing the problem. Well. Draymond, it's just not that simple.
Female athletes do that. They go to the ones in charge with a well-thought-out plan, but in this patriarchal society, women can't fix the issue alone. We need male allies -- whose voices are repeatedly taken more seriously by those in power -- who are willing to put forth action. That's what Curry did on Thursday.
In 2018, Curry wrote in the Players' Tribune that his fight for equality amongst men and women in sports became personal after the birth of his daughters Riley and Ryan. Something similar happened with the late Kobe Bryant, who became a champion for women's basketball, especially after his daughters were born and one of them -- Gianna -- chose hoops as her passion.
Both Curry and Bryant recognized the power that they hold and did, and continue to do, what they can in their world to make a difference.
"The reason I am who I am today is also because of strong, powerful women who have poured into my life all these years," Curry said in his Instagram post that announced the donation. "Now, as the father of two girls, I want them to grow up without any boundaries on their futures."
Curry's daughters might never play basketball. But, he took inspiration from them to make an impact in an area where he could.
We need more of this. We need more action. We need more allies to try and help break down the barriers, not just point out what is wrong.
So, thank you Steph for not just continuously speaking up, but for doing something that will make a difference.