Trump, athletes continue standoff

Before the Buzzer


Sports Columnist Tyler Simons

  As of late, the sports world and the United States President, Donald Trump, haven’t exactly seen eye to eye. The most recent example of this was when the point guard of the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry, publicly stated that he would vote no when the team sat down and decided whether or not to visit the White House to celebrate the team’s 2016-2017 NBA Championship. His reasoning behind this is, “That we don’t stand for basically what our president has — the things that he’s said and the things that he hasn’t said at the right times — that we won’t stand for it. By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country, what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye toward. It’s not just the act of not going, there are things you have to do in the back end that you have to push that message into motion.” This opinion by Curry is perfectly acceptable in my eyes, as he is an influential role model for young people and looks to make the world more open minded and fair in terms of equality.

  Visiting the White House has been a tradition for American sports since August 30, 1895, when Andrew Johnson invited the Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals amatuer baseball teams, and for NBA teams since the Boston Celtics visited John F. Kennedy in 1963, according to ESPN.

  After hearing that Curry wasn’t exactly pleased at the thought of going to the White House, Trump was quick to revoke the invitation, saying, “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” This, of course, soon sparked an uproar within the professional sports community.

  Lebron James, superstar forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers, has met Curry in the NBA Finals for the past three years, losing twice and winning once in spectacular fashion, coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Although this competition and rivalry within the game itself is intense, James was quick to take Curry’s side, replying to Trump’s tweet with a tweet of his own being, “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!” This confrontation is described on

  Needless to say, the Warriors organization soon released a statement regarding the matter, as reported on The Mercury News website, stating,“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.” The question is, when will NBA championship teams return to visiting the White House to celebrate, if ever?

  From my point of view, this whole situation could’ve been avoided. Trump could’ve handled Curry’s hesitation better by either: reducing discrimination against the African American community in his role of authority or simply respecting Curry’s views and accepting his opinion. Instead though, President Trump decided upon revoking an invitation that wasn’t wanted to begin with.

  As I have always believed, people with roles of authority must step up and be the leaders toward change in society. Trump could do a much finer job promoting equality than he has, since he is the leader of one of the world’s most influential countries. Until he begins progress towards doing that, the public can expect to see athletes continue to speak out, and doing so rightfully.