Once the Warriors won the Finals, speculation about whether the team would skip the trip to D.C. began. Looking at some of their previous comments, it’s not hard to see why.
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Several unconfirmed reports have been floating around this morning saying Golden State Warriors players, shortly after winning their second NBA championship in three years, voted unanimously to skip the traditional trip to the White House. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that no decision has been made, but this would not be a shocking development considering some of the things the Warriors have said about President Donald Trump.
In February, Steph Curry, when asked if he agreed with Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank's description of Trump as an "asset to the country," replied: "I agree with that description … if you remove the 'et' from asset."
Days after Plank's comments, Nike released an ad starring LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Kevin Durant (among others) taglined "Equality has no boundaries."
Head coach Steve Kerr has called Trump a "blowhard" who was "ill-suited" to be President. He also rhetorically asked, "Has anyone ever thought Donald Trump was a great leader?"
While Kerr gave the bullet points, Warriors forward David West spoke in specifics following Trump's inauguration:
"A lot of folks assumed that that part of our country was no longer, based on the election of President Obama. But what Donald Trump did was, he reached for a demographic of people who responded to some of the most infantile, non-decent language that you could expect coming from a president candidate. Folks bit."
"All the tactics that he used to get elected are the very things that someone like me, who works with youth on a consistent basis, are the things that we try to talk our young folks out of being," West said. "We try to talk our young people out of being bullies. We try to talk our young men out of disrespecting women. We try to talk our young people into being accepting of other people's opinions and other people's walks of life.
"And he is the complete opposite of all of that."
Way back in February, Shaun Livingston said he "definitely wouldn't go" if the Warriors won this year because his own views would keep him from wanting to be there.
Owner Joe Lacob, although he has donated to certain Republican campaigns, earmarks much more of his money on the Democratic side.
There is now precedent for skipping out on the ceremony for political reasons. Earlier this year several members of the Super Bowl winning New England Patriots declined to go, including Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Devin McCourty, and Martellus Bennett. Tom Brady, a friend of Donald Trump who pleaded for folks to put politics aside, skipped the visit so he could spend time with his ailing mother. Still, the Patriots sent a full delegation that a spokesman said was "roughly the same" size as the one two years prior. Even if the Warriors sent some kind of delegation, it likely would not be as well-attended.
Or perhaps the Warriors will visit the White House to make a political statement, much like former Chicago Bulls guard Craig Hodges did in 1991 when he presented President George H. W. Bush with a two-page letter urging for better treatment of African-Americans.
It's also not totally out of the realm of possibility that the President is petty enough to not even extend an invitation after these comments get unearthed in the coming days.
Then again, maybe the Warriors will go to Washington, but not the White House: