NBA superstar Steph Curry doesn’t believe human beings have landed on the moon, and NASA says they’ll prove it to him.
Curry isn’t the only celebrity athlete to express a (wrong) opinion about something important. The revelation that the Golden State Warriors point guard is a moon landing denier comes after a similar disclosure about Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, who said he believed that the earth is flat.
In Curry’s case, he denied the moon landing on a podcast within 24 hours of being named “Sportsperson of the Year” by Sports Illustrated, according to New York Times.
Curry, who recently returned from injury and rejoined the Golden State Warriors in their quest for a third consecutive championship, was a guest on a podcast called “Winging It,” which is hosted by the N.B.A. players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore as well as Annie Finberg, a digital content coordinator for the Atlanta Hawks.
During a wide-ranging talk among Carter, Bazemore, Curry and Curry’s teammate Andre Iguodala, the topic of the sounds dinosaurs made was being discussed before Curry abruptly shifted gears, asking the others if they believed the United States had put a person on the moon.
“We ever been to the moon?” he asked.
The others, in unison, agreed that the answer was no.
“They’re going to come get us,” Curry replied. “Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.”
Finberg expressed some skepticism, asking Curry to clarify, and he said he did not believe the United States had landed on the moon, leading to a short discussion of some of the more popular conspiracy theories, including one asserting that the film director Stanley Kubrick had staged the entire thing.
NASA responded to Curry’s false claims, inviting him to tour their lunar lab and look at the evidence for himself.
“We’d love for Mr. Curry to tour the lunar lab at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, perhaps the next time the Warriors are in town to play the Rockets,” said Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesman. “We have hundreds of pounds of moon rocks stored there, and the Apollo mission control. During his visit, he can see firsthand what we did 50 years ago, as well as what we’re doing now to go back to the moon in the coming years, but this time to stay.”
It turns out Curry’s denialism may actually be raising awareness about NASA and its future moon-based missions!
What stands out to me about this entire situation is that Curry’s conspiratorial belief is demonstrably false. As I explained in No Sacred Cows, moon landing “hoax” claims are based in “denialism,” and not skepticism.
When I think of denialism, moon-landing hoaxers often spring to mind before anything else. This isn’t an incredibly popular conspiracy theory, with numerous polls showing only about 6 percent of the U.S. population doubts that we sent people to the moon, but it is intriguing nonetheless. The belief that NASA never executed manned missions to the moon, and that photos and videos from these events were actually staged in a movie studio in 1969, is particularly interesting to me because there is verifiable proof that we have been there. For one, the lunar laser ranging experiment accurately measures the distance between Earth and the moon using lasers on Earth aimed at retroreflectors planted on the moon during the Apollo program. In case that piece of clear, accessible evidence wasn’t good enough, in 2015, NASA made more than 10,000 raw, high-resolution moon-landing photos available to the public. That’s not to mention that, as former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin has pointed out, the context of the moon landing as part of the Space Race during the Cold War means that a hoax is highly unlikely. That’s because “the Russians would have exposed by now if we didn’t land,” according to Aldrin.
For all of these reasons and more, I hope Curry takes NASA up on its offer.
Yours in Reason,