Are the Golden State Warriors Refusing to Attend the White House Celebration With Donald Trump?

June 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Letter from a Reader:

One of the biggest news items that followed the Golden State Warriors’ victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA championship was that they were not going to attend any White House event with Donald Trump. This story has appeared in the Washington Post, Guardian, Independent, CNN, Newsweek, and most of the independent sports news outlets.

Several news agencies, including Shaun King of New York Daily News, have reported that the team voted unanimously not to go to the White House, which has been a regular event for the team that wins the NBA championship since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. As of this time, Trump has not invited them. If he does not invite them, it would be the first time in many years that the NBA champs have not been invited for a ceremony with the president at the White House.

Refuse Fascism activists took the call "Warriors: Don't Go to White House! Demonstrate July 15" to the Warriors NBA Championship parade in Oakland, California. Photo: Refuse Fascism

The Warriors did not deny that they took this vote, but said they have not been invited yet and would make a decision about attending if and when they get an invite. CNN reported that “It’d be shocking if the Warriors went to the White House.” When the Warriors won the championship in 2015, they went to the White House event after being invited by President Obama.

Since the election of Trump, several Warriors, including their coach, Steve Kerr, have made statements opposing Trump.

Kerr called Trump a “blowhard who couldn’t be more ill-suited to be President.” At a team news conference, Kerr said, “The man who’s going to lead you has used racist, misogynist words.” Kerr later followed that up by saying, “I have no idea what kind of president he’ll be because he hasn’t said anything about what he’s going to do. We don’t know. But it’s tough when you want there to be some respect and dignity and there hasn’t been any. And then you walk into a room with your daughter and your wife, who have basically been insulted by his comments, and they’re distraught. Then you walk in and see the faces of your players, most of them who have been insulted directly as minorities, it’s very shocking. It really is.”

Kerr has been outspoken on Trump’s attempts to make immigration policy banning Muslims from specific countries from entering the U.S. This is meaningful in that Kerr’s father was killed while he was president of American University of Beirut. According to the New York Times, “A group calling itself Islamic Holy War claimed responsibility [for killing Kerr’s father]. Courts later found ... Hezbollah was behind the killing.”

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Kerr has not let his father’s killing keep him from being on the right side. “If we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to the country,” Kerr said, “we’re really going against the spirit of what our country is about, and [we’re] creating fear. It’s the wrong way to go about it. If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror. I’m completely against what’s happening. It’s shocking. It’s a horrible idea.”

Stephen Curry, the team’s superstar and two-time league MVP, got into an argument with the CEO of his sponsor, Under Armour, who described Trump as a “real asset.” Curry retorted in the San Jose Mercury, “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et’ from asset.”

Right after Trump was elected, the Warriors’ backup center, David West, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “This whole fairy tale about this post-racial utopia that Obama supposedly created is all bull.”

In a January podcast, Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area wrote about West that “He’s going to stand with the millions of women who marched over the weekend. He’s going to stand with the millions of people who feel their quest for justice is endangered. He’s going to stand with those whose health care is in peril. He’s going to stand with those who understand that science telling us that climate changes is a grave global threat.” West went on to say that “All the tactics that he [Trump] 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. 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 [Trump] is the complete opposite of all of that.”

In February, Warriors guard Shaun Livingston said he “definitely wouldn’t go” to the White House if the team were to win the championship. “I really feel that my views would keep me from going and visiting. Just with everything that’s going on right now. I just don’t agree with a lot of stuff that’s happening.”

Yesterday, Andre Igoudala, who was the NBA Finals MVP in 2015, was asked by USA Today if he would accept an invitation to go to the White House. He said, “Hell nah!” He continued to talk about racism in this country. “We all know (that it is getting worse). I think it’s just the ignorance, the convenient ignorance. (It’s) not to say that people aren’t aware, but they just don’t want to address it (because) they don’t want to be attached to it so they ignore a lot of the bad things that happen. I feel that there are actions that occur, that continue the dividing of everyone. And I think that’s done on purpose.”

There is one Warrior, who in February said he would go to the White House if the team wins the championship. That is Klay Thompson, who told CNN, “Just from an historical standpoint to see all the history in the place and whose been through there and how long the White House has been standing and what it means to our country—I think I would go because it’s just a great honor. I don’t have to agree with everything the President does but at the end of the day he is still is our President and is the leader of the free world.”

A new twist to this is that Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader who represents a congressional district near the Warriors’ offices, has invited the Warriors to the Capitol due to rumors that Trump will not invite them.

So, stay tuned and we’ll report on what happens.



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