It has long been tradition for championship winning teams to meet with the president at the White House. Under Donald Trump, however, that tradition has changed. The 2017 Golden State Warriors were the first team to refuse to visit with the president. While the NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers visited with Trump, very few African-American players made the trip.
The University of Virginia captured the Men’s NCAA basketball championship in March of 2019. The Cavaliers announced on Friday that they will be the latest championship team to refuse an invitation from President Trump.
Coach Tony Bennett wrote on the UVA Twitter feed, “We have received inquiries about a visit to the White House. With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together. We would have to respectfully decline an invitation.”
Other members of the Cavaliers basketball team were not quite as diplomatic as Coach Bennett. According to Politico, future NBA lottery pick, De’Andre Hunter tweeted, “No thanks Trump.”
While the University of Virginia declining the invitation may sting Trump, it certainly isn’t as harsh as the Warriors rejection. When Golden State came to Washington DC to play the Wizards, they met with Barack Obama rather than the current president.
Warrior’s superstar Stephen Curry said of Trump in a 2017 essay, “If there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that all the noise we keep hearing—it’s not an accident. We’re hearing that noise because there are real people out there, facing real issues, and real inequalities, some in ways like never before. In 2017, in America, silence is no longer an option.”
The White House has not comment on the University of Virginia’s decision.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.