Golden State is a fine selection as SI’s 2018 Sportsperson of the Year. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Golden State is a fine selection as SI’s 2018 Sportsperson of the Year.

December 18, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( When you hear names like Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, and Dwyane Wade, thoughts of athletic excellence soon enter the mind but also thoughts that these are athletes who have used their platforms and prestige to make differences in the lives of other people in real world and society. Each of the athletes named have been among those who have won the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award. The SI Sportsperson of the Year Award is selected as the “the athlete or team who best exemplifies the ideals of achievement and sportsmanship.” This year’s winner are the Golden State Warriors who become only the fourth team in the award’s history and the first since the 2004 Boston Red Sox. While the Warriors have changed the NBA due to their offensive creativity, long-range efficiency, and defensive versatility that has led to a NBA dynasty, their off the court actions and words have been just as impressive.

The Golden State Warriors are arguably the most “woke” team in professional sports in America. While teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins of the NFL and the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs can also make arguments for that title, few teams can match the unabashed honesty and social commentary of the Warriors, whose head coach Steve Kerr and most recognizable stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant have all been using their spotlight to speak about more than how to breakdown a hybrid zone defense or how to attack off of a pick and roll. Steve Kerr has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump over the years and doesn’t seem worried about alienating any of the conservative fans of the Warriors. Although two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant has been criticized for reacting to fans on social media, he also had an authentically candid interview about race and being black in America late last year.

One of the most popular athletes on the planet, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has some questionable ideas regarding U.S. history but he has been a big advocate for women’s and girls’ empowerment. As the face of the Warriors franchise for several years, he has also been critical of Donald Trump to the point that Curry wielded his considerable clout when the Under Armour CEO showed pro-Trump support. The Golden State Warriors as a team were also one of the first sports teams to be publicly opposed to visiting the White House during the Trump administration which led to a juvenile un-invitation from Trump himself. Many other sports teams and athletes have followed that lead now.

Sports Illustrated chose the Golden State Warriors as the 2018 Sportsperson of the Year also because “it was impossible to overlook the influence that the Warriors, as a collective group, have had on their sport and the broader culture over the last half-decade. They are a generational phenomenon, the likes of which we might not see again for decades, if at all.” It is also important to note that the Warriors are a mostly black team who are exclude confidence and innovation both on and off the court. As more and more professional athletes continue to find themselves in their political and social voice, it is nice that Golden State is awarded for doing so while maintaining terrific success in their craft.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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