The Golden State Warriors are officially skipping the White House visit typically reserved for last year’s NBA champion.
Ahead of their Wednesday date with the Washington Wizards in D.C., the reigning champs will be touring a museum rather than the President of the United States’ living and working quarters, per ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes:
Golden State Warriors will celebrate their championship in D.C. today by touring the African American Museum with students from Seat Pleasant, the hometown of Kevin Durant.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 27, 2018
Klay Thompson explained this decision to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post:
“The White House is a great honor,” Thompson said, “but there are some other circumstances that we felt uncomfortable going. We’re not going to politicize anything. We’re going to hang out with some kids, and take them to the African American Museum, and hopefully teach them some things we learned along the way, and life lessons, and hopefully give them some great memories.”
Kudos to the Warriors for making a political statement without politicizing anything. They didn’t plan this trip in a loud fashion. The details were only confirmed a couple days before the scheduled visit. At the same time, they’re clearly setting a standard for future champions—that they won’t bend to the current political climate, not even for a ceremonial afternoon.
Granted, the Warriors did not exactly have another choice. President Donald Trump made it clear months ago they weren’t welcome at his doorstep when the prospect of a visit first became an issue:
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the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!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
Golden State’s point nevertheless stands. And it’ll be interesting to see which NBA champs follow their lead for the duration of Trump’s tenure in office.
Then again, maybe it won’t be. The way things are tracking in the NBA, the Warriors may win each of the next three titles, their dynasty outliving POTUS’ spot in the White House and stretching into the next presidential term.