Trump withdraws Warriors' White House invite after Curry declines
United States President Donald Trump has withdrawn an invitation to the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House.
In reality, the Trump administration hasn't actually invited the Warriors for a visit, head coach Steve Kerr recently confirmed to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
At the Warriors' Media Day on Friday, superstar guard Stephen Curry was asked about the team's pending decision about whether they would accept an invitation to the White House, as has become customary for championship teams from major North American professional and collegiate sports.
"I don't want to go," Curry stated. "My beliefs stay the same."
"By acting and not going hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country, what is accepted, and what we turn a blind eye to," Curry explained. "It's not just the act of not going, there are things you have to do at the back end to push that message into motion."
Finals MVP Kevin Durant has also remained adamant throughout the summer that he wouldn't partake in any visit with the Trump administration.
"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that," Durant told ESPN's Chris Haynes in August. "That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."
In July, NBA commissioner Adam Silver encouraged the NBA champions to visit the White House should they receive an invitation, but Kerr insisted the decision about the visit would come down to a team vote to account for differing perspectives in the locker room.
Other championship teams have visited the White House since Trump took office in January, including the New England Patriots and Clemson Tigers. The Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins said they would visit if invited. Former Colts and Broncos champ Peyton Manning visited the White House and golfed with Trump; retired basketball legend Kobe Bryant said he would "probably" visit if invited.
But these visitations and public comments largely occurred prior to controversial, touchstone events in the Trump presidency, including his response to white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, of which LeBron James was highly critical, and the administration publicly calling for the termination of outspoken African Americans in the sports industry, including unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who on Friday Trump called "a son of a bitch."
With sports and politics intersecting at an increasing rate and players being actively encouraged by leagues and players associations to pursue social consciousness, it's unclear to what extent this summer's events will alter how future championship teams approach invitations from the White House during Trump's time in office.
For now, it doesn't appear that either the Warriors or Trump will be rubbing elbows in the Rose Garden anytime soon.