Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Stephen Curry are unofficial symbols for black fatherhood via the NBA, and they are repeatedly being attacked for bringing their children to the press conference podium to answer reporters' questions. Much ado has recently been made about Stephen Curry bringing his 2-year-old precocious daughter, Riley, to the podium table. People are complaining that it's unprofessional because at times he appears distracted by her frolicking, and that her "adorableness" is becoming the center of attention versus the moves he made on the court.
Need I remind America that historically Black men were snatched from their families during the slave era, and the image of black fathers has been repeatedly distorted and tarnished ever since. Everyone from President Barack Obama to Bill Cosby to the average Joe on the streets, has chastised black men for not taking care of their responsibility, abandoning their children, and having multiple children with different women. We've heard that nonsense so much that we believe good black fathers don't exist. I'm sick and tired of stories highlighting black men as deadbeat fathers, and the rhetoric needs to change! Why not start with the NBA and/or other professional players?
These superstar athletes have a national podium to rewrite the image of black fathers by showcasing black fathers spending time with their children, loving their child, and exposing them to different professions and professionals. Excuse me, but has anyone ever heard of Take Your Child To Work Day? This is a variation of that, so why slam their actions?
One writer for ESPN, a Black woman named Jamele Hill, lamented her frustration with players bringing the children to the podium. She said that players have other opportunities to showcase their children and parenting skills, and reporters only have about 20 minutes to get their story from the interview. Furthermore, she claims that editors don't care if a story is "short on details" because players were preoccupied with their children, so please don't bring them to the podium.
My response to her, and to the world, is that yes, reporters need to do their job. But we must understand the bigger picture. The average Joe doesn't get an opportunity to see Black men interact with their children on a national level. In fact, we enjoy seeing these images of black men and their children. So let's give these superstar athletes the space to use their national podium to showcase that #BLACKFATHERSMATTER until we have enough black fathers collectively rewriting the image for us all.
This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.