Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry has had some dumb takes lately, but at least he’s smart enough to acknowledge his missteps. Curry was recently blasted by critics for stating on a podcast that he didn’t believe the United States had actually landed on the moon. Clapping back, NASA offered to give the star a tour of its Lunar Lab. On Thursday, Curry claimed his conspiracy theory was all a joke — and now NASA’s ready to make good on its offer.
NASA Public Relations head Allard Beutel, who first extended Curry the invitation to the Lunar Lab, tells Inverse he’d heard about “Mr. Curry taking us up on our offer.”
“We still need to work out all the visit details,” he noted.
In his statement in the New York Times, Beutel offered to show Curry the “hundreds of pounds of moon rocks” at the lab. “During his visit,” he added, “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.”
On Thursday, NASA tweeted its official response:
Besides getting laughed at by the internet, Curry’s support of the moon landing conspiracy particularly irked American science educators, who are already struggling with science denial among their students. Philadelphia middle school science teacher Nick Gurol, whose comments about the negative impact of NBA stars’ support for the flat-Earth movement made national headlines in 2017, expressed to Inverse his concern that 50 to 75 percent of his students would believe what Curry said.
The whole mess started when Curry, guest starring on the podcast Winging It, asked his fellow guests — other NBA stars — “We ever been to the moon?” As most of them agreed “no,” Curry added: “They’re going to come get us, I don’t think so either. Sorry, I don’t want to start conspiracies.”
Fortunately, on Wednesday night, Curry clarified what he meant to ESPN, claiming it was all a joke:
One thousand percent. One thousand percent. Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast. [Then] 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. 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.
Whatever his thoughts on the moon landing really are, Curry was wise to clarify his official stance before even more people could turn their backs on him. Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving, notorious for his influential support of the flat-Earth movement, upheld his beliefs for months before finally apologizing to science teachers across America: “I’m sorry about all that, to all the science teachers coming up to me like, ‘You know I’ve got to re-teach my whole curriculum?!’ I’m sorry. I apologize. I apologize.”
For now, the NBA’s conspiracy theory problem seems like it’s being kept in check. However, there’s still been no word about the moon landing from fellow Golden State Warrior Andre Iguodala and Atlanta Hawks players Vince Carter and Kent Bazemore, who wholeheartedly agreed on the podcast that it was all a hoax.