Championship teams really walk a tightrope when the team collectively ponders the decision to visit the White House because President Donald Trump currently resides there.
Many Trump-haters put the pressure on championship-winning teams as being disgraceful, which forces them to make a grave controversial decision.
And recently one basketball championship team declined the White House visit while another accepted.
It all began several years ago when the Golden State Warriors won the championship and a sports journalist asked two-time MVP Steph Curry if he would accept an invitation to the White House and said he wouldn’t.
Trump blasted Curry on Twitter and disinvited him altogether. That’s when Curry’s rival, LeBron James, called Trump a “bum.”
Despite being rivals, many NBA players banded together in their disdain towards the current administration – especially two of the league’s biggest stars, Curry and James.
James said in June of last year during the NBA Finals when he was a Cleveland Cavalier, “I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. So it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
And Curry said, “I agree with LeBron. Pretty sure the way we handled things last year, kind of stay consistent with that.”
Even Kevin Durant – who once called the president a “mother f–ker“ – said, ”When somebody says they don’t want to come to the White House, [Trump] disinvites them so the photo op don’t look bad. We get it at this point. It’s good that guys are sticking to what they believe in and what they want to do. Like guys said before me, I’m sure whoever wins this series won’t be going.”
But many championship teams in other leagues and sports have attended recently like the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots and the Clemson Tigers – the latter was the team that visited the White House to be served fast food, which Trump was criticized for although this was at a time during the federal government shutdown and he paid for the food out of his own pocket. The players didn’t seem to mind.
The University of Virginia Cavaliers NCAA men’s basketball team won the National Championship last month and declined the White House invitation, but the women’s Baylor Bears accepted.
UVA coach Tony Bennett tweeted, “We have received inquiries about a visit to the White House. With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together. We would have to respectfully decline an invitation.”
That doesn’t seem to be honest. This is the White House. Unless there are extraordinary dire circumstances then it wouldn’t be “impossible,” to go. It looks like this is a diplomatic move by Bennett to say this because it’s likely the players refused to go. Also, that was UVA’s first men’s basketball championship win.
Meanwhile, on the Baylor Bears website, they issued a statement: “In the aftermath of Baylor University’s third NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball championship, the Baylor Lady Bears accepted an invitation to visit the White House Monday, which will include a visit from President Donald J. Trump.
April 7, Baylor defeated Notre Dame 82-81 for the program’s third national title, which put the program in elite company with UConn and Tennessee as the only institutions to have three national championships in women’s basketball. Head Coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears also visited the White House and met with President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama in 2005 and 2012 following their first two titles, respectively. The visit is currently scheduled for Monday afternoon.”
This bipolarized reaction from championship teams will continue as long as Trump resides in the White House because many people still can’t reconcile with how he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 General Election.