Steph Curry is known for his passionate support of equality for women. Now, he’s put his money where his mouth is after a long-time fan asked him why he hadn’t produced a line of sports sneakers for girls.
In Nov. 2018, 9-year-old Riley Morrison reached out to the NBA star to ask why Under Armour wasn’t carrying the Curry Five sneaker line in girls’ sizes. Riley, an enthusiastic basketball fan, knew that Curry considers himself a passionate advocate for women.
After Riley reached out to him, Curry responded on Twitter.
Now, he’s revealing his new line of sneakers for girls — and they were designed in part by Riley herself.
“I appreciate your concern and have spent the last 2 days talking to Under Armour about how we can fix the issue,” Curry said to Riley in November. “…We have something special in the works for International Women’s Day on March 8th and I want you to celebrate with me! More on that, but plan to be in Oakland that night!”
The two collaborated on the new sneaker designs, which were unveiled by Under Armour for International Women’s Day.
The line UA ICON Curry 6 United We Win depicts the words “Be Bold” and “Girl Power” and other inspirational slogans beside a picture of two female basketball players.
Curry praised Riley for her boldness in reaching out to him and advocating for herself and other female athletes.
“It’s been amazing,” said Riley. “It’s a really special experience. I never imagined that this would happen. I’m really happy I wrote that letter.”
The thing that impressed him the most about the young woman, though, was that she wasn’t just raising her voice for her own benefit.
Rather, she wanted to represent women everywhere.
“I was immediately impressed when I saw Riley’s letter,” said Curry. “That a 9-year-old girl had the courage to use her voice to call attention to an issue and keep us accountable. She was focused on the opportunity for ALL girls, not just herself. She’s been an amazing catalyst for change – not only with my product but also with the entire Under Armour brand.”
But it wasn’t enough to have a 9-year-old girl design the shoe line alongside an NBA star or to unveil the design on International Women’s Day.
Anybody who buys a pair of UA ICON Curry 6 United We Win shoes will also be supporting a special scholarship fund for women.
Each year, the proceeds will allow one young woman to pursue a STEM degree. The winner will be announced annually in early to mid-March, just in time for International Women’s Day. The first winner, Vivian Wu, received $30,000. But Curry is attributing that success all to Riley.
“Riley Morrison changed the game,” he wrote on Instagram.
Steph Curry has long modeled himself as a champion of women’s rights.
But he’s also backed up his sentiments with actions, such as starting up a special basketball camp for girls and speaking out in a powerful essay published last August in The Players’ Tribune.
Curry has two daughters of his own, so it’s not surprising that he is interested in creating a world where they can live as free and powerful women. Coincidentally, one of his own daughters is also named Riley.
In the past, he’s spoken out strongly about the need for equal pay for athletes and women across other industries.
“Every day is when the pay gap is affecting women,” said Curry. “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.”
Basketball players in the WNBA only make 20 percent of the lowest possible income of an NBA player, according to a report from 2017, so, Curry’s concern isn’t unfounded. His work for women in the sports industry is continuing to grow. But no one expected it to grow even more because of a 9-year-old girl.
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