Basketball in the United States is sending a message to President Donald Trump, and it’s clear … The sport does not need the controversial businessman turned politician. The 2017 North Carolina Tar Heels have decided not to visit the White House, following the Golden State Warriors.
Those are the two current champs of U.S. Basketball’s two premier competitions. Current NCAA champs, the North Carolina Tar Heels, said it would not be attending to meet President Donald Trump. However, rather than attack the President, the school says it simply could not find the time in its schedule.
The statement: “We are not going to the White House this year, The team was fine with going, but we could not find a date that worked for both the basketball team and the White House.”
It is certainly worth considering that the organization is just being diplomatic. Certainly, head coach Roy Williams has been critical of Trump in the past. It is at least possible the Tar Heels are using its schedule to duck out of a meeting.
The news comes on the same day NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors, and particularly Stephen Curry took a stance against the Trump government.
Curry had made it clear he did not want to meet the President, even if his team was attending:
“I don’t want to go,” Curry said. “That’s kind of the nucleus of my belief … (But) it’s not just me going to the White House. If it was, this would be a pretty short conversation.”
Curry’s reluctance prompted Trump to launch a typical Twitter tirade where he withdrew his invitation for Curry.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
Numerous NBA stars backed Curry, including LeBron James, who labeled Trump a “bum”:
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
Finally, the Warriors backed their star player by saying the organization will not visit the White House and will instead use its visit to Washington to promote equality:
“While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We’re disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise
In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity, and inclusion – the values that we embrace as an organization.”