The Golden State Warriors issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s tweet on Saturday in which he said he would not invite the Warriors to the White House after comments made by Stephen Curry.
“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,” the statement said.
Curry told ESPN on Friday that he did not want to attend any White House visit due to his disagreement with Trump’s policies. The Warriors had not made a decision on the visit at that time nor had the White House extended an invitation.
The Warriors had an off day in Washington DC during a road trip to play the Washington Wizards, which would have been an opportunity for the visit. The team’s statement said they will spend the trip doing community service instead.
“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,” said the Warriors.
Trump’s tweet set off major backlash in the NBA community, with players responding to the president via Twitter.
“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite,” tweeted LeBron James. “Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
Other players including Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant were critical of Trump.
The president did not restrict his sports commentary to the NBA, Trump also picked a fight with NFL players who protest the national anthem at a rally on Friday and subsequent tweets on Saturday.