Relax, everyone. Stephen Curry says he was joking. He really does believe that NASA has sent people to the moon. He’s a non-truther-truther. And everything is fine. Totally fine.
Oh, and he’s taking NASA up on its invitation to visit the lunar lab at the Johnson Space Center in Houston — “One thousand percent,” he told ESPN — which, you know, he only received because he denied that the space agency had ever landed on the moon. But it was a joke. Everything is fine.
“Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast,” he told ESPN.
That conversation took place on the Ringer’s “Winging It” podcast, on which he appeared with teammate Andre Iguodala, Atlanta Hawks players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore and co-host Annie Finberg, and it went completely off the rails. The group went from talking about what sound a dinosaur made to conspiracy theories.
“We ever been to the moon?” Curry asked.
Several voices responded, “No,” and Curry said, “They’re going to come get us. I don’t think so either. Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.”
Except he did start a conspiracy, one that ignited social media, because Curry, with his trips to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and astute-sounding quotes on national politics, has fashioned a brand of a thoughtful and informed athlete who does not shut up and dribble. And then that same athlete said he thought the 1969 moon landing (and all subsequent moon landings) was faked.
“I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, ‘Oh my God, he’s a fake moon landing truther,’ whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada,” he said to ESPN. “So I was silently protesting that part about it, how the story took a life of its own.
“But in terms of the reaction that I’ve gotten, I am definitely going to take [NASA] up on their offer. I am going to educate myself firsthand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years. And hopefully people understand that education is power, informing yourself is power. For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, which is important, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it. You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe. But I’m going to go to NASA and I’m going to enjoy the experience wholeheartedly.”
Curry said he was surprised the comments took off. He probably shouldn’t have been after the reaction Boston Celtics flat-earther Kyrie Irving received after his own conspiratorial remarks.
Rachel Nichols devoted a segment to the comments on her show, “The Jump.”
Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” lost their minds over it.
Wilbon: “Don’t do this. Don’t come out and say, ‘These pictures are kinda grainy. They’re black and white. Happened before I was born,’” Wilbon said. “Because does that mean you don’t believe in slavery? You don’t believe in the Revolutionary War? ... Don’t do this. You guys are too smart.”
“If you are as woke as you say, you are as technologically savvy as you appear to be, don’t do this. Because you’re saying, ‘I don’t believe in history.’”
Kornheiser: “It’s a very small step to becoming a Holocaust denier or a slavery denier."
“This one got me,” Curry said to ESPN. “Because of the setting that I was in when I was talking. If you actually listen to the podcast we were talking about all sorts of wild stuff. We went from Trae Young comparisons to what sound does a dinosaur make? To what’s your favorite brand of golf club to conspiracy theories.
"And literally out of an hour-and-10-minute podcast that five-second comment of me asking, ‘Did we land on the moon?’ was the only thing people got out of that so that was — again part of why I just kind of let it sit out there is just because I was like, ‘What is this?’ There’s way more serious stuff that’s going on in our world that this doesn’t necessarily deserve that much attention. But again, I got a NASA invite out of it, and I going to enjoy it.”
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