UPDATE: The Golden State Warriors still haven't made an official team announcement on whether they will celebrate their championship win at the White House if invited. However, their star point guard, Stephen Curry, explicitly said that he wouldn't, according to The Hill.
“Somebody asked me about [going to the White House] a couple of months ago, like a hypothetical, if the championship were to happen would I do it and I think I answered ‘I wouldn’t go.’ I still feel like that today,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “But, obviously as a team, we’re going to have a conversation.”
“This is a moment we all need to enjoy together and nothing should distract what we were able to accomplish together,” he continued. “The different kind of ceremonies and traditions that have happened around championship winning teams, we don’t want that to taint what we've accomplished this year. So we’ll handle that accordingly and responsibly and do the right thing for us individually and as a group.”
Curry's statement makes him the first of his teammates to directly address the speculation surrounding a White House visit.
While he remained poised and eloquent in his response, the sentiment is clear that he has no interest in being in the presence of President Donald Trump.
UPDATE: Well, folks, just as we predicted, the NBA champions will not be heading to the White House to meet President Donald Trump and celebrate their victory this year.
Following their Game 5 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, reports surfaced that the Golden State Warriors unanimously agreed to skip the traditional celebration with the president in Washington, D.C.
The team issued an official statement Tuesday, noting that they haven't yet received an invitation to the White House.
“Today is all about celebrating our championship,” the team statement reads. “We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary.”
However, Twitter is already buzzing with the news that the team members have their minds made up that— if and when they are invited — they won't be going.
FYI 7am EST this am pic.twitter.com/akwytwohXi— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) June 13, 2017
“All the tactics that he used to get elected are the very things that someone like me, who works with youth on a consistent basis, are the things that we try to talk our young folks out of being,” West said in a January interview. “We try to talk our young people out of being bullies. We try to talk our young men out of disrespecting women. We try to talk our young people into being accepting of other people’s opinions and other people’s walks of life.”
“He is the complete opposite of all of that,” West added.
It should also be noted that Trump doesn't appear to be too fond of the Warriors either, considering the fact that he didn't bother to offer any congratulatory remarks to the team after the game. Yet when his friend, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in February, he didn't hesitate to tweet his congratulations to them.
For the third straight year in a row, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are facing off in the NBA Finals.
The Warriors are just one game shy of claiming a victory over the Cavaliers, who saw themselves in the same position last year before their incredible comeback that ultimately led to their championship win.
While there are many similarities between last year’s series and this year's, something major has definitely changed — the United States has a new president.
Since President Donald Trump’s election, professional sports and politics have collided in various situations, including the president’s stark criticism of NFL player and social justice crusader Colin Kaepernick as well as his highly publicized friendship with superstar footballer Tom Brady.
Additionally, several NBA teams have chosen to boycott Trump's hotels while on the road for away games, and multiple members of the New England Patriots broke from tradition and skipped visiting the White House after their Super Bowl win because of their fervid opposition to him.
It is no secret that Trump’s campaign rhetoric and discriminatory policies as president have fueled racism and hatred in this country, and thus, his support among minorities is slim.
The Warriors and the Cavaliers teams are each made up of mostly African-American males, which include the star players from each team, Lebron James and Stephen Curry.
Curry and James have each publicly condemned Trump’s antics in their own ways. Furthermore, just before the finals series got underway, James was the target of a hate crime when his Los Angeles property was vandalized with racial slurs.
With all of this in mind, it’s almost a certainty that no matter who wins the championship this week, the White House visit will not be on either team’s agenda.
Even Warrior’s head coach Steve Kerr has spoken out against Trump’s bigotry, so it isn’t likely that he would so much as bat an eye if his players decided to skip the visit. In fact, he would probably lead the charge in opting out of the trip.
After the embarrassing photos of the Patriots' visit went viral earlier this year — with what appeared to be just over two handfuls of players in attendance — the tone has already been set for athletes to continue this form of resistance.
While Trump himself may not care about being unpopular among athletes, their actions speak volumes.
Younger generations of voters respect and idolize these men. Their influence is impactful, and people will remember these bold political statements when heading out to the voting polls in 2020 (if Trump isn't impeached before then).
In the days following the end of the series, we confidently predict that regardless of the winners, one by one there will be players announcing that they won’t be headed to the White House — and Americans will collectively applaud their decision.