Did Nike Reject Stephen Curry for Wanting Bible Verse on Sneaker?

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry during the first half of the Warriors' regular season game against the Wolves. |

Over the past couple weeks, a rumor has been circulating on social media that NBA star and devout Christian Stephen Curry was rejected by Nike for wanting a Bible verse on a sneaker.

Assorted sites have claimed that the Golden State Warriors point guard was rejected by Nike because he wanted to have Philippians 4:13 written on his sneakers.

"Nike wasn't happy that Curry used a sharpie to write a Bible verse on his shoes. So, he broke that contract and went with a company that was open to his faith," claims the site Conservative Angle.

"Curry created quite the stir when he broke his deal with Nike to partner with UA, but it was for an excellent cause. He wanted to incorporate his faith into his footwear so he could promote a powerful message instead of just another empty product," asserted the site faithit.

Nike shoes are displayed at a Niketown store in Beverly Hills, California, March 16, 2010. |

Michael Brown, radio personality, author, and contributor to The Christian Post, commented on the claim in a recent column.

"Curry is an openly committed Christian and the best player in basketball this year, and he before he had a sneaker contract with Under Armour, Nike passed up on him twice," wrote Brown.

"I have read articles speculating on why Nike chose not to sign him, but we do know that before he signed with Under Armour, he made clear that he wanted to put Phil 4:13 on the tongue of the sneaker with the underside reading, 'I can do all things.'"

Brown expressed caution, however, noting that sites "have claimed that this was another factor in Nike's decision not to match Under Armour's offer, but I have not been able to verify that."

"If you can find any verifiable information about this, please post it in the comments section," Brown added, saying he would not be surprised if it were true.

However, the online fact-checking site Snopes noted that there was a strong absence of evidence regarding the claim that Curry and Nike did not make a deal because of religious expression.

"Neither Curry nor Nike said that the deal fell through because of his religious beliefs, nor did Curry claim that Nike would not let him put Bible verses on his shoes," noted Snopes.

"We could find no articles that stated religion was a motivating factor for Curry's deal with either Nike or Under Armour, and these rumors appear to have sprung wholly from one person's Facebook page."

The page in question, according to Snopes, was that of Ronnie Magtibay who posted the claim to Facebook on Feb. 18 and had his statements shared more than 170,000 times.

Brian Betschart of the online fashion magazine also denounced the claim that Nike rejected Curry over his desire to put a Bible verse on a sneaker.

"His contract with the Swoosh was set to expire and according to reports, was offered less than $2.5 million a year from Nike. Under Armour, mainly known throughout the Football world offered Curry less than $4 Million a year (actual amount is unknown). Curry gave Nike a second chance to match Under Amour's offer, who declined," wrote Betschart.

"At this time, Curry wasn't the player he is today and Nike was unsure he would be able to sell shoes. Under Armour took a chance and won."

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