Wednesday, June 14, 2017

After Winning the Championship, Evidence Mounts That GS Warriors Will Not Visit the White House

Stephen Curry

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison's Flickr page - Stephen Curry:
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The Golden State Warriors just won the NBA championship. You might think that they would be too busy celebrating this gue accomplishment following a long season to worry about anything else.

Apparently, you would be wrong.

Almost immediately after they beat the Cavaliers to secure their second championship in three seasons, there were headlines screaming that all of the Golden State players were planning to boycott the traditional visit to the White House by championship franchises. 

Literally just hours after the Warriors secured the championship, there were widespread reports that the team had "unanimously" voted not to visit the White House.

Then, the next day, the team denied these reports.

Still, if one looks at some of the things that members of the Warriors have said about President Trump in the not so distant past, a visit to the White House following this championship would seem unlikely, as it surely would be awkward for all parties involved. 

When Kevin Plank, the CEO of one of star Stephen Curry's sponsors, Under Armor, described Trump as  a "real asset," Curry responded, leaving no doubts about his own opinion of this president:

"I agree with that description," Curry told The San Jose Mercury News, "if you remove the 'et' from asset."

Neither is Curry's opinion somehow isolated from the rest of the team.

David West was quite philosophical about it in the San Francisco Chronicle on the night after the election, as he went back to the early hopes that many Americans had for the Obama administration that many held and mocking those early hopes for a better America following the election of Trump to the White House:

"This whole fairy tale about this post-racial utopia that Obama supposedly created is all bull. That's the bottom line. When you look at what the results say from last night, this nation has not moved a thread in terms of its ideals." 

West said some other things, as well:

"All the tactics he used to get elected are the very things that someone like me, who works with youth on a consistent basis, are the things we try to talk our young folks out of being. We try to talk our young people out of being bullies. We try to talk our young men out of disrespecting women. We try to talk our young people into being accepting of other people's opinions and other people's walks of life."

Shaun Livingston also suggested in the past that he would not go to the White House for a visit, saying:

"I really feel that my views would keep me from going and visiting. Just with everything that's going on right now. I just don't agree with a lot of stuff that's happening."

Andre Iguadala also let his feelings on this president and the situation right now in this country be known:

“Maybe (Trump) doesn’t (invite us) and we don’t go, or we don’t say anything and make a big deal of it, and he doesn’t make a big deal of it and we go our separate ways,” said Iguodala,  33, who is known for being as aware of social issues as he is sarcastic. “Y’all might write about it. I might call him and say, ‘If they ask, just say our schedules conflicted.’ And then if y’all write something, we’ll say, ‘Fake News.’ ” 

“We’re going to do what our leader (Curry) does,” Iguodala continued. “I think we handle (the White House situation) when it gets there. I mean, it may be different. There might be somebody different in (office). That’s a realistic thing to say though, right? So you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Then when asked what he thought, Iguadala made his own feelings clear, saying , "Hell nah!"

He continued:

“We all know (that it is getting worse),” Iguodala said of racism. “I think it’s just the ignorance, the convenient ignorance. (It’s) not to say that people aren’t aware, but they just don’t want to address it (because) they don’t want to be attached to it so they ignore a lot of the bad things that happen. I feel like there are actions that occur, that continue the dividing of everyone. And I think that’s done on purpose.”

And head coach Steve Kerr has sounded off about Trump, as well, referring to him as a "blowhard" and saying that he "couldn't be more ill-suited to be President."

Kerr had a lot more to say about the election, too. He spent much of a press conference shortly after the election going off about what a bad decision the nation made in electing that man to office. Here is some of what he had to say:

"I don't care what side of the political spectrum you're on. People vote for all kinds of reasons, right? You vote for your pocket book. You vote for abortion rights or gay marriage or you vote for certain social policies or maybe foreign policy. Maybe you're worried about this or that. And that's what it should be about. You should vote based on policy. But this election had nothing to do with policy. It had to do with hatred and fear and we had a candidate who stirred that up, and I thought it was a horrible precedent for our country."

Not all members of the Warriors were dead set against a White House visit, though. Back in February, Klay Thompson suggested to CNN that he might be open to a visit:

"Just from an historical stand point to see all the history in the place and whose been through there and how long the White House has been standing and what it means to our country -- I think I would go because it's just a great honor. I don't have to agree with everything the President does but at the end of the day he is still is our President and is the leader of the free world."

Frankly, there are people who would contest Trump's status as "leader of the free world." In fact, some are suggesting that far from leading the "free world," he is a threat to freedom, both here and abroad.

It seems clear that the Golden State Warriors are not the biggest fans of the occupants of the White House right now, which makes a visit to Washington by the newly crowned NBA champions seem unlikely. It also seems to be an ongoing theme that could become a pattern for the duration of the Trump presidency, since quite a few members of the New England Patriots, including star quarterback Tom Brady (for undisclosed reasons in his case) did not show up for the team's White House visit following their Super Bowl championship. Several members of the Patriots made clear that they definitely intended to skip the ceremonies because of differences that they had with President Trump and his administration.

My guess is that this will be far from the last time that we see these kinds of stories emerge very shortly after a team wins a championship. 

These are the articles that I used in order to write this particular blog entries, and all quotes used here were taken from these articles (see links below):


Why NBA champion Warriors could skip visit to Trump White House by Sam Amick , USA TODAY Sports,  June 13, 2017:

It'd be shocking if the Warriors went to the White House Zachary Wolf-Profile-Image By Z. Byron Wolf of CNN, June 13, 2017:

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