For the first time in their 44-year history, professional ice hockey team, the Washington Capitals, won the Stanley Cup by beating the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in game five.
With the fans celebrating the team’s first championship and experts pouring in congratulatory messages, official events are likely to be followed to applaud the players’ performance.
One of the invitations the winning team might expect to receive is from the White House, as per its customary practice.
However, it is yet to be seen if any of the Washington Capitals players will be interested in President Donald Trump throwing them a party, considering the majority of Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles players cared little about the president celebrating their win.
Moreover, there is at least one player from the current winning team who made his intentions quite clear way before they even bagged the Stanley Cup.
Devante Smith-Pelly, an African-American athlete, said he would skip the traditional White House visit if the team won the cup because of his disagreement with Trump’s divisive rhetoric.
"The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist," said Smith-Pelly, according to a Canadian newspaper. "Some of the things he's said are pretty gross. I'm not too into politics, so I don't know all his other views, but his rhetoric I definitely don't agree with. It hasn't come up here, but I think I already have my mind made up.”
Smith-Pelly, who is one of the two black Canadian players on the team, made the statement two days after Trump disinvited Philadelphia Eagles from White House, saying he did so after the players disagreed with his call to stand during the national anthem.
However, the widespread belief was the commander-in-chief was just embarrassed of hosting a smaller delegation of players. Ironically, Trump’s replacement event turned out to be a bigger embarrassment for him.
With national level players voluntarily opting out to meet the president of the country, definitely speaks volume of the kind of reputation Trump holds.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters