Stephen Curry’s Dream For His Daughters Extends To Women Beyond The Basketball Court

"I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do."

As the father of two young daughters, Stephen Curry has VIP access to what it's like growing up female in modern America. Thus, with his sustained support for women's equality on display, the two-time NBA MVP penned a powerful, personal essay about what it truly means to empower and encourage girls to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals despite adversity.

Published in The Players' Tribune, Curry shares how the strong women in his life — both his mother Sonya and his wife Ayesha — have influenced his perspective and hopes for his own daughters as they come of age in an increasingly enlightened society.

Recommended

"Riley and Ryan are growing up so fast. And with Ayesha and I suddenly seeing things through the eyes of these daughters of ours, who we brought into this world, and now are raising to live in this world … you know, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the idea of women's equality has become a little more personal for me, lately, and a little more real," Curry wrote.

"I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period," he added. "I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big, and strive for careers where they'll be treated fairly."

"And of course: paid equally."

Although the essay was published on Women's Equality Day, Curry notes that everyone must come together every day to make equal pay possible.

"Not just as 'fathers of daughters,' or for those sorts of reasons. And not just on Women's Equality Day. Every day — that's when we need to be working to close the pay gap in this country," Curry emphasized. "Because every day is when the pay gap is affecting women. And every day is when the pay gap is sending the wrong message to women about who they are, and how they're valued, and what they can or cannot become."

"Let's work to close the opportunity gap. Let's work to close the pay gap," he added. "And let's work together on this. I mean, "women deserve equality" — that's not politics, right? That's not something that people are actually disagreeing on, is it? It can't be.

Curry also discussed his experience hosting an all-girls basketball camp earlier this month, which only helped to open his eyes even further to the importance of providing young women with the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Because, while Curry had fun sharing the court with 200 girls who "love to hoop," the event was also "something more than that."

"I think it was also the sort of thing that can help to shift people's perspectives. So that when someone sees an NBA player is hosting a camp, now, you know — maybe they won't automatically assume it's for boys. And so eventually we can get to a place where the women's game, it isn't 'women's basketball.' It's just basketball. Played by women, and celebrated by everyone."

"One thing we've always maintained about our camp, is that we want it to be world class. And in 2018? Here's the truth: You're not world class if you're not actively about inclusion," he wrote.

Ultimately, Curry feels more driven than ever "to help out women who are working toward progress, in any way that I can."

Curry also emphasized that the girls brought their A-game both on and off the court. During a Q&A with several successful women in sports and business, the campers' level of thoughtfulness and maturity blew Curry away when one girl asked Ariel Johnson Lin, vice president at JPMorgan Chase, if she'd "switch up how she worded things, or her body language, or her tone of voice, based on the gender imbalance of her workplace."

"Again, I was just blown away. I mean, we're talking about a 14-year-old kid here, having the knowledge and sophistication to take a simple camp Q&A session to that level. And questions like hers — those really are the questions that young women continue to have to ask about the workplace in 2018. And that's because it's still so deeply ingrained in them, even in 2018, that inequality is just a thing you have to come to expect," he wrote.

Yet, while empowering girls and women remains one of Curry's top priorities, the Golden State Warriors star also plans to use his platform to instill these values and morals in his infant son, Canon, as he grows, too. After all, Curry admits that "what it means now to raise a boy in this world" has been weighing on his mind since his third child's birth earlier this year.

"I think you tell him the same thing that we told those girls last week at our camp: Be yourself. Be good, and try to be great — but always be yourself," he wrote. "I think you teach him to 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."

"And I think you let him know that, for his generation, to be a true supporter of women's equality — it's not enough anymore to be learning about it," Curry added. "You have to be doing it."

Cover image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

GET SOME POSITIVITY IN YOUR INBOX

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.