After dominating the Cavaliers in the championship series 4-1, the 2017 NBA Champions, The Golden State Warriors reached a unanimous decision to decline the traditional visit to the White House. (In 2015, the victorious Warriors happily accepted the invitation from Barack Obama, as shown above.)
The professional and collegiate sports world has, for the most part, given the Trump White House the cold shoulder. Roy Williams, coach of the 2017 NCAA Champion NC Tar Heels, never committed to a Trump visit as most of his players were not interested. There are still no indications the team will make the trip to D.C.
At the beginning of the 2016-2017, essentially none of the NBA players would entertain the idea of a Trump visit. The NBA generally leans to the Left politically while the NFL is more right-leaning. Even so, there were at least two dozen of the Superbowl-Champion New England Patriots, including Tom Brady, who declined Trump's invitation in April.
It's widely known that Steph Curry and coach Steve Kerr are ardent opponents of the hateful and racist policies of the current occupant of the White House. Although Kerr respects Trump supporter/coaching legend, Bobby Knight, he disagrees with the bullying style that may have once worked in basketball, but no longer seems effective. He compares Trump and Knight, in a way that would make a meeting with Trump rather awkward.
"My personal opinion is Bobby Knight's way smarter than Donald Trump," Kerr said in May. "Bobby Knight was brilliant in a lot of ways. So there was some real foundation in terms of knowing and coaching the game. But he was a bully, so … I think being a bully doesn't work today, or at least it doesn't work coaching. The modern coach has to be much more communicative, flexible, aware, conscientious, all those things.
"Frankly, I think it's why Trump couldn't be more ill-suited to be President, because he's a blowhard. You don't see some of the qualities you talk about, the resilience, the ability to communicate, the compassion. None of that. But in the old days, a lot of great coaches who maybe didn't have those, there was still a fiber there, whatever it was. To be a great leader, there have to be some qualities in there.
The White House has regularly invited college and pro championship teams each year since Ronald Reagan was in office, but now that sports and politics have become so closely entwined, the Warriors are the first team expected to flat-out reject the invitation.
Congrats to the Warriors and the outspoken superstars like MVP Kevin Durant and Steph Curry along with their politically savvy coach, Steve Kerr for their amazing season. We are very proud of those who refuse to normalize Donald Trump.
UPDATE: They've received an invitation to Congress.