Could Trump’s Position On White Supremacists Cause Cancellation of Sport Team Visits To White House? – Forbes

Kevin Durant, the 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player of the champion Golden State Warriors, has said he won’t be making the trip to the White House to meet with President Trump as part of the tradition of US sports champions. Could Trump’s incendiary position of not forcefully denounce white supremacy in all its forms could create an environment where so few players would visit Trump that the photo op would be cancelled. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

As the country fractures over the aftermath of the march on Charlottesville by white supremacists, the conflicts with counter protesters, and the eventual domestic terrorism act of a car being used as a weapon to kill one counter protester, and injury over a dozen more, how President Trump has reacted has done more to increase tensions than quell them. As the domestic terror suspect, James Alex Field, who was aligned with American Vanguard, the group who has stated in their manifesto states “a government based in the natural law must not cater to the false notion of equality,” was charged with second-degree murder, and as Heather D. Heyer, the victim, was buried on Wednesday, Trump has refused to directly denounce white supremacists saying that there is “blame on both sides.”

Trump’s actions have had an immediate effect on several councils he had installed. With CEOs from Merck, 3M, Campbell Soup, General Electric resigning, they disbanded Trump’s Business Advisory council and the president shortly thereafter disbanded the Strategy & Policy Forum and the Manufacturing Council. He also scrapped his Infrastructure Council; an important focus for Trump as well as the GOP controlled congress as they work to create a $1 trillion plan, but now may slip into next year.

Against this backdrop sits the sports world, who like all of America, is watching the situation. It has been customary for the championship teams in both professional and collegiate sports to visit the president at the White House as part of honoring their achievements.

While every president has had their critics in the sports world, Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens didn’t make the trip when they won the Super Bowl and Obama was in office. Manny Ramirez didn’t travel to visit George W. Bush when the Red Sox won the World Series. But under Trump, the numbers were already declining (a large number of players from the New England Patriots didn’t make the trip in February), and now may reach a critical point.

In the wake of the comments by Trump surrounding Charlottesville, Kevin Durant has now said that he will not visit the White House when the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors visit.

“I don’t respect who’s in office,” Durant said. “I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not going,” who added this was not something being decided by the Golden State Warriors, and said, “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.”

Durant continued, as reported by ESPN: