Following the tragic shooting of eight Asian-Americans in Atlanta on March 16, NBA star Stephen Curry was looking for a way to show support for the victims and the Asian-American community.
The two-time league MVP found his calling by partnering with the Bruce Lee Foundation, which is named after the Chinese martial arts legend and American-born actor.
Curry created a pair of custom-made sneakers that depict Lee and his family. Made in collaboration with the Bruce Lee Foundation, the colorful yellow and black shoes were worn by Curry during the April 4 game between Curry’s Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks.
The game-worn sneakers are now being auctioned off by Godin Auctions with all proceeds being donated by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta to individuals and families impacted by the shootings as well as Atlanta-area programs dedicated to Asian-American causes.
Curry, a seven-time all-star and three-time NBA champion, contacted the Bruce Lee Foundation following the shootings, hoping to use his platform to create conversation and spark change amid increased violence against the Asian community. The Under Armour sneakers were painted by Kreative Custom Kicks and depict Bruce Lee, a champion of equal rights. Reminiscent of Lee’s famous Onitsuka Tiger shoes, the Curry 8s also feature an image of Lee’s family and his famous quote, “Under the heavens, there is only family.”
“After all we have been through this past year, let alone in the history of our country, people still deal with unnecessary tragedy and are afraid for their lives. We have to do better,” Curry said in a release from Goldin Auctions. “We have so many faithful Asian American fans that have supported me along this amazing journey. We represent them on the court and I feel the love no matter where I go.
“The shoes are a small way in which I can stand with this community, honor and support the victims of this tragedy, while also bringing awareness to Lee’s timeless teachings. We are all human beings on a quest to fulfill our purpose and that energy should be used to uplift and love each other to the fullest. Anything else is a waste of our existence.”
Shannon Lee, CEO of the Bruce Lee Family Companies and Chairperson of the Bruce Lee Foundation, called Curry’s gesture “a beautiful example of allyship and solidarity in action.”
“I am honored he, Curry Brand, and Goldin Auctions would choose my father and my family as the symbol for the idea that we are all one family, as my father said, and therefore must all stand for one another,” Shannon Lee said. “I am grateful to be able to be a part in some small way of assisting those families that have had tragedy land at their door. We thank Steph, Curry Brand, and Goldin Auctions and are honored to use our collective platform to support the victims' families and charities dedicated to Asian American advancement.”
Lee said Curry’s gesture and the specially-designed shoes demonstrate the message championed by her father.
“We must truly live the idea that under the sky we are all one human family and we must take personal responsibility for our inner world (our feelings and our thoughts) and stop blaming our dissatisfaction on external circumstances and outside factors,” Lee said. “When my father said we must know ourselves and work for self actualization, he didn’t mean so that you could be in great shape and become a movie star, he meant so that you can be confident and at peace with yourself by seeking the cure for what plagues your conscience and ails your soul from within. With AAPI month upon us, I think it's especially important to be conscious of his ‘One Family’ message now more than ever.”
“We are honored to be a part of such a noble example of allyship and solidarity for the Asian community,” said Ken Goldin, Founder and Executive Chairman of Goldin Auctions. “With this initiative, Steph has shown that he is not only one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, but also an incredibly thoughtful and empathetic human being as well. We should all strive to follow his and the legendary Bruce Lee’s examples.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian-American civil rights organizations, is organizing the distribution of the auction proceeds to the families of the eight victims. Bidding, which has already surpassed $10,000, is open at GoldinAuctions.com through May 22.