OAKLAND — The attire explained the cause with one simple phrase.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr sat on the podium wearing a T-Shirt with an emblazoned message: “Vote for Our Lives.” Warriors star Stephen Curry later sat on a podium that also had a message on the front of his sweatshirts and its sleeves: “I am a Voter.” Their attire before and after the Warriors’ win over Minnesota on Friday symbolized their efforts in galvanizing voters to the booth for Tuesday’s mid-term elections.
“We have a platform, so we should drive people to register and get to the polls,” Curry said. “So we’re all doing our part.”
The Warriors have tried to do their part by collaborating with “Rock The Vote,” a non-profit organization aimed to increase voter turnout and voter registration by partnering with various public figures.
Elsa Collins, the wife of Warriors assistant coach Jarron Collins and member of the “Rock the Votes’s athlete advisory council, sought the Warriors’ interest given the team’s outspokenness on President Donald Trump as well as on social justice issues. So during training camp, “Rock the Vote” officials and Kerr outlined the importance to the organization about voting.
“If you can help create momentum that comes with mass voting, that’s how you create change,” Kerr said. “It’s not that your one vote is necessarily going to swing an election, but it’s the concept of voting and getting the people that you know to vote. Then all of a sudden, the numbers add up to where you can make a difference.”
How much of a difference will that make?
“Rock the Vote” and Warriors officials said they registered seven Warriors players, two assistant coaches and a dozen other staff members. Though data was not readily available, Rock the Vote officials believe the Warriors’ interest has prompted fans to register. The team released a PSA that encouraged voter turnout.
The Warriors are trying to encourage others to share their voice. Yet, Collins and Kerr have stressed the initiative has nothing to do with promoting political candidates. Instead, they have argued improved civic turnout could improve political discourse.
“Steve does a pretty good job of presenting what the landscape looks like,” Collins said. “That’s key because when you present what the landscape looks like, you start to recognize the entry points to the landscape all start with your participation. A lot of times your participation and your voice is your vote.”
The Warriors have not shied away from sharing their voice.
They have criticized Trump’s rhetoric, so much that their outspokenness prompted Trump to rescind a White House invitation to celebrate the team’s 2017 NBA championship. Kevin Durant and Curry are participants in the newly released “Shut Up and Dribble” documentary.
Curry has raised funds for the United Nation’s “Nothing but Nets” campaign that provides mosquito nets to protect families in across African from Malaria. He also has funded college scholarships for military families through ThanksUSA. Meanwhile, Durant won the NBA Cares Community Assist award by donating for various charitable contributions in the Bay Area, his former college (University of Texas) and hometown (Prince George’s County in Maryland).
Kerr participated in a town-hall meeting with Rep. Ro Khanna and high school students at Newark Memorial High School in March about mass shootings. Kerr, whose late father was assassinated in Beirut in 1984, has argued for gun control following mass shootings in Las Vegas, at both a high school and church in Texas, at a high school in Parkland, Fla. and at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.