It is traditional for championship winning teams from the big four sports to attend the White House and take their trophy to meet the president. Since Trump however, some athletes have turned down this honour.
The latest is the current NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors. Point guard, Steph Curry, said:
I don’t want to go. [I] don’t stand for… the things that he’s said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right times. I don’t think us not going to the White House is going to miraculously make everything better, but this is my opportunity to voice that.
The team will visit Washington to celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusion, but will not attend the White House.
Trump, of course, waded into matter on his Twitter (which I can’t believe is under his complete control with nobody vetting his tweets prior to being made public).
And LeBron James countered:
Colin Kaepernick famously took a knee during the national anthem in protest of the treatment of black people in America and has essentially lost his NFL career as a result – whereas players who are accused of physical or sexual assault continue their careers. Kaepernick’s act was not offensive; it was a peaceful protest. Kaepernick’s act of not standing for the national anthem garnered more outrage than the murders of countless black people at the hands of authority figures, however his act has paved the way for others to criticise the treatment of American people, and moreover the people in power whose beliefs are in direct opposition of their own. It’s not “unAmerican” – the practice of free speech is a basic human right and the first amendment.
Most recently, Bruce Maxwell, a rookie catcher with the A’s became the first MLB player to take a knee during the anthem. Maxwell was born on an army base to a father who was serving.
Too often, athletes are told to stay out of politics, stick to kicking a ball, yet also be role models. How can athletes stay out of politics when their president can’t keep out of sports?
At a republican rally in Alabama recently, Trump has criticised NFL owners for not doing more against players who protest during the anthem.
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.
When you are more outraged that athletes are kneeling for the national anthem than the fact police killed 309 black people last year then you have a serious issue. The USA has experienced extreme weather conditions recently, with Puerto Rico and Florida battered by hurricanes, Houston flooding, and forest fires ravaging the West Coast. Trump is also engaged in a war of words with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. Surely the president of the United States has bigger issues to face than black athletes not wanting to visit his racist ass – but no, he will continue to throw his toys out of the pram because he’s not a president, he’s an egocentric bigot.