The Miami Heat are not in a position to be invited to the White House, let alone refuse the invitation, not now and who knows if ever while Donald Trump holds the title of president.
But several teams have and the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are the latest who will not be honored in the nation’s capital, as was the case with the Golden State Warriors a year ago when Trump withdrew an invitation for the NBA champions to visit the White House. Trump’s decision came after learning Stephen Curry was considering boycotting the trip. And like the Warriors, few members of the Eagles planned on visiting the White House even before the invitation was rescinded.
With the Warriors holding a 2-0 lead over the Cavaliers in the 2018 Finals, players were asked today about Trump’s decision to disinvite the Eagles. Cleveland’s LeBron James said today that “no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. So, it won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
Curry added: “I agree with ‘Bron. Pretty sure the way we handled things last year kind of stayed consistent with that.”
James, Curry along with Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Spurs coach Greg Popovich and former Pistons and Heat coach Stan Van Gundy have been among the most outspoken critics of Trump, his policies and what Kerr has labeled his “racist, misogynist, insulting words.”
Last year, Trump posted a tweet that read: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”
The Warriors still celebrated its championship during the season on their trip to Washington D.C by touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
As for the Heat, though not as outspoken, the vibe is most would take the same stance if one day they had the opportunity.
Prior to last season, Justise Winslow said Trump has “damaged” the honor of visiting the White House. Winslow was part of the Duke contingent that visited the White House when Barack Obama was president. The invite came after the Blue Devils captured the NCAA title in 2015.
“As a kid that’s something I dreamed about, winning the championship and going to the White House and I did it and it was such an amazing experience,” Winslow said in September. “Now, it is damaged.
“If my time comes during his run I’ll probably also sit out. Hopefully one day it can be that honor that it once was. Hopefully I will be OK with going back one day.”
Udonis Haslem has been one of the Heat’s more outspoken players when it comes to Trump and comments, especially concerning the issue of NFL players conducting protests to racial injustices by kneeling during the National Anthem.
The NFL recently banned kneeling on the field during the National Anthem, with many saying the league caved to Trump.
“It’s like every time he opens his mouth. … it’s like, oh, really?” Haslem said prior to last season. “When you think you can’t say anything worse he just kind of figures it out. It’s unfortunate.”
Winslow, who is very socially-aware, is offended by Trump’s tone.
“One of my biggest problems is the way he uses his platform, his language, I don’t think that’s how our president should be speaking, that vulgar tone,” he said. “And we saw that during his run for presidency, his character. I think that’s kind of where the problems start.”