UPDATE with comment from NBA Commissioner: Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, has weighed in on the Golden State Warriors’ non-visit to the White House. “I was in favor of the team visiting the White House and thought it was a rare opportunity for these players to share their views directly with the President,” said Silver in the statement posted on Twitter. “I am disappointed that that will not happen. More importantly, I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues.”
EARLIER: The Golden State Warriors will not visit President Donald Trump at the White House. “We accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited.”
In a statement tweeted by the NBA champs, explaining their decision to bypass the traditional championship visit, the team said, “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 team’s decision comes just hours after Trump tweeted that he withdrew the invitation to the Warrior Steph Curry for “hesitating” about whether to attend. Curry had already stated his intention not go, a point driven home later by LeBron James, who called Trump a “bum” and tweeted “Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
The Warriors’ decision is the latest round in the Trump Versus Professional Sports tussle, with the president criticizing not only Curry but NBA players (and the owners who don’t fire them) for taking a knee during the National Anthem in protest of racism and police shootings.
Here is the Warriors’ statement: