The Golden State Warriors have confirmed that they will not visit the White House. The team released the following statement Saturday afternoon:
Statement from the Golden State Warriors: pic.twitter.com/6kk6ofdu9X
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) September 23, 2017
Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Friday that the team had “had discussions” with the White House, and that it would make a decision after meeting as an organization. “We intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit,” the team said in Saturday’s statement.
But those plans were done in by a tweet that President Donald Trump sent out Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after Warriors star Stephen Curry confirmed that he did not want to go to the White House:
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
“We accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited,” the team said in the statement.
It’s unclear if Trump’s tweet indicated the entire Warriors team was uninvited, or if only Curry was. It’s also unclear if his tweet was an official revocation, or if there was even an official invitation in the first place. The Warriors had not confirmed previously whether or not they had been invited.
Myers said later on Saturday that the team heard about the withdrawal of the invitation just like everybody else did, from Trump’s tweet. Head coach Steve Kerr said he was “not surprised.”
“He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him,” Kerr said.
Multiple NBA players blasted Trump on Twitter Saturday morning.
Curry – and other Warriors players, including Kevin Durant – had previously made it clear that he would not attend a visit to Trump’s White House. Curry reiterated his intentions on Friday at Warriors media day. “I don’t want to go,” he said bluntly.
Here are longer snippets of his comments:
Stephen Curry doesn't hold back on whether he'll vote to visit White House. pic.twitter.com/n2PBAtYQdA
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 22, 2017
Easily the most forceful answer at Warriors Media Day on the White House decision has come from Steph Curry pic.twitter.com/01av461eCZ
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 22, 2017
The writing appeared to be on the wall. The Warriors, as a team, would likely have turned down an invitation, if they were invited.
Trump probably saw that writing, and did not fancy the optics of being turned down. So he decided to save himself the snub and take the decision out of the Warriors’ hands. Here’s what Draymond Green had to say about the situation, and about LeBron’s comments:
Draymond Green on LeBron James calling Trump "U Bum." pic.twitter.com/hUYseAR2rB
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 23, 2017
Donald Trump's comments on NFL players yesterday clearly angered some Warriors. Some Draymond Green from today pic.twitter.com/VR6Kieyv4w
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 23, 2017
The Warriors said that, “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.” ESPN’s Marc Spears reported that the Warriors are considering a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on that trip.
The Warriors also said in their statement: “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.”
As Kerr said: “The president made it really, really difficult for us to honor that institution.”
Steve Kerr was his candid self when talking about Trump today. pic.twitter.com/C32bZP4k2U
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) September 23, 2017
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement Saturday evening. “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,” Silver said. 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.”