As we have learned throughout his NBA career and especially in the last few years, Kevin Durant is very open and outspoken with his opinion on things and what he disagrees with. He, like many around the country, is in stark opposition to the political and personal beliefs and actions of the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.
He isn’t the first member of the organization to come out and voice their displeasure with Trump, Head Coach Steve Kerr has done so on numerous occasions. He is the first though to officially say he will not be attending the White House, a customary action for every American professional and major collegiate sports team after winning a championship.
Durant made this clear when interviewed during his annual Kevin Durant Day in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C.
“Nah, I won’t do that,” said Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”
“I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” said Durant, who said it wasn’t an organizational decision. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.”
“He’s definitely driving it,” Durant said. “I feel ever since he’s got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it’s not a coincidence. When [Barack] Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.
“So to see that and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top. Leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn’t care about all people, then we won’t go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won’t see any progress.”
One would assume the Warriors will make a bit of history by denying the invitation altogether, something they have every right to do.
It kind of feels like the 1960s all over again, race relations are in a grim place, the nation appears splintered and professional athletes are speaking out and making their voices be heard on major issues. The first two similarities are an unfortunate sign of our country going backwards, but athletes speaking up and making their voices be heard in an intelligent and passionate way is a good thing. They have a lot of power as role models and public figures and rallying against any form of racism or discrimination and serving as spokesperson for those around the country is using their platform for good.
Kudos to Durant for taking a stand and using his platform to try and make a difference, much like numerous other NBA athletes at the moment like LeBron James, Enes Kanter and more.