On Tuesday, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and other players on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the teams squaring off in this year's NBA Finals, said they expected that the victor of the series would not attend a White House ceremony.
"I'm not surprised", James said of Trump's behavior. "So it won't be Golden State or Cleveland going".
The media had hoped to get him to comment on the controversy, given that Trump initially cited players kneeling in protest during the National Anthem as the reason for the cancellation. "A similar (G) oogle search will show you how many great things the players on this team are doing and continue to do on a daily basis". President Trump has balked at the idea of allowing players to say in the locker room. "And every team that's won a championship since then has gone through that". Trump's feud with NFL players over some's decision to not stand for the national anthem as a form of protest became a cultural subplot of the 2017 season. That invitation - not unlike the Eagles' - was pulled after a number of players vacillated on attending.
"We will proudly be playing the National Anthem and other wonderful music celebrating our Country today at 3 P.M., The White House, with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus".
"The irony is that the Eagles have been nothing but fantastic citizens in their own community".
Hockey's Pittsburgh Penguins and baseball's Houston Astros have accepted invitations to the White House for the traditional meeting with the President in recent months, as have several college teams. After winning the championship last season, the Warriors made an organizational decision not to visit the White House. "The way we handled things previous year, we'd stay consistent with that". "So it's just the way it is. I think that's powerful, being in this situation". Trump's petty response to getting curved (less than 10 Eagles players reportedly planned to attend) ended up being a joke anyway, and made the National Football League look even worse for their cowering to the Comrade In Chief.
"What else do you expect Trump to do?"
Team-mate Kevin Durant also concurred. He didn't want to disappoint them. So the photo op don't look bad.
"We can use that as a takeoff point for discussing important ideas" about race and gender that are intertwined with sports, he said. But it's good that guys are sticking to what they believe in and what they want to do. Said no matter who wins this series neither team will go.
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