President Donald Trump denying the Golden State Warriors a visit to the White House actually provided an opportunity “to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion,” the Warriors said.
While in Washington, D.C., for an upcoming game against the Wizards on Wednesday, the 2017 NBA champions took local children to visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on Tuesday.
“It’s their championship,” Head Coach Steve Kerr told ESPN. “They got disinvited to the White House, so it’s up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans. I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they’re doing.”
Warriors guard Klay Thompson revealed the plans after their game in New York on Monday night.
“The White House is a great honor,” Thompson said. “But there are some other circumstances that we felt uncomfortable going.
“We’re not going to politicize anything. We’re going to hang out with some kids and take them to the African American Museum, and hopefully teach them some things along the way, and life lessons, and hopefully give them some great memories.”
The tour only included players, coaches and students.
On Sept. 23, Trump took to Twitter to revoke the customary invitation for NBA champions:
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the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!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
At a press conference on Sept. 22, Warriors guard Stephen Curry said that he, personally, did not want to visit the White House, but a final decision by the organization had not yet been made.
“It’s not just me going to the White House,” he said, “if it was it would be a short conversation. But it’s the organization; it’s the team. It’s hard to say because I don’t know exactly what we’re going to do.”
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
In response to Trump’s tweet, the Warriors released the following statement:
“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.”
After their first championship, the team met with former President Barack Obama, but don’t seem dismayed about not going back to the White House.
“It’s kind of beating a dead horse at this point,” Curry told ESPN on Monday. “We’re excited to have an opportunity that we’re going to tomorrow as a team, but other than that it’s a business trip and we’re excited to keep the road trip going. So that’s really all it’s about.”