On Tuesday, following President Trump’s decision to disinvite the Philadelphia Eagles from the White House, citing their supposed disrespect for the National Anthem, NBA stars LeBron James and Stephan Curry stated that neither NBA Finals team would be interested in visiting the White House anyway.
James was asked about Trump’s cancellation, and answered, “I actually just found out about it. It’s typical of him. I am not surprised. I mean, I know no matter who wins this series no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
Curry seconded the motion:
This isn’t surprising — Trump isn’t exactly popular around the NBA, and both James and Curry have criticized Trump in the past. In January, James ripped into Trump on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, stating, “for us to stand here, even though we’re trying to be divided right now by somebody, today is a great day for people to realize how America was built and how we all have to stand united in order to be at one.” He stated in August 2017 that Trump had made hate “fashionable again.”
And in February 2018, Curry stated that he wasn’t interested in visiting the White House either.
The NBA and NFL have launched culture wars before. Trump has responded before. But his cancellation of the Eagles visit is a bad look, and his decision to tear into the Eagles players for supposed anti-patriotism is a worse one. With that said, this is a culture fight Trump wants and believes he can win publicly.