While it’s still unclear who will win the 2018 NBA championship, what seems a certainty is that the eventual victor will not be paying President Donald Trump a visit.
Both the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers seem steadfast in their resistance to a White House ceremony. Marc Spears of ESPN has an interesting story about the revelation that really shouldn’t be even the slightest bit of a shock.
The Warriors were disinvited by Trump after winning their championship last season when the team didn’t show much desire to make the trip.
This discussion about the 2018 NBA title was prompted by Trump disinviting the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles after the team indicated a huge portion of the team declined to attend.
There were even reports that as few as 10 Eagles players were expected to show up, and presumably, Trump opted to be the one to cancel the event after hearing that news.
This is definitely becoming a pattern. Trump tries to save face whenever he deems athletes not sufficiently reverential of him.
LeBron James has had scathing words about Trump in the past and added that neither the Warriors nor Cavs would meet with him after the 2018 NBA Finals are decided.
James elaborated that the accomplishment of winning a championship outweighs the honor of being invited to the White House, particularly with Trump in office.
The 2015 champion Warriors visited Barack Obama, but the 2017 champion Warriors were disinvited by Trump this past September after Stephen Curry expressed unwillingness to visit Trump.
Curry agreed with the sentiments of James regarding the eventual 2018 champions. Trump will likely repeat history and disinvite the NBA champions once again.
Kevin Durant also agreed with Curry and James. He said he was glad that players are sticking up for what they believe in.
Steve Kerr also weighed in on the matter. Kerr has been a vocal opponent of Trump since the president first took office.
Kerr emphasized that he would be perfectly okay with one of his players protesting and that the NBA has done a better job of empathizing with its players than the NFL has.
Kerr also said that Trump tries to divide the country, and even longingly expressed a hope that things can get back to normal in three years.
Trump’s tactics for dealing with players who hate him are basically like when someone plans a huge party and only a few people say they can go. To save the embarrassment of a sparse gathering, the host cancels the party.
Athletes should never feel obligated to visit a president that they have strong ideological and moral disagreements with.
It’s seemingly inevitable that Trump will rescind an invitation to either of these teams if he even extends an invitation at all at this point.
It’s not surprising that numerous Eagles players didn’t want to see him, and it’s equally unsurprising that Trump reacted the way he did.
The era of athletes keeping their mouths shut about social issues is over, and NBA players were the ones at the forefront of that shift.
The Warriors and Cavs are both standing up for the values they believe in. The next question really centers around how long it will be before an NBA champion visits the White House again.