LeBron James, Steph Curry Say Their Respective Teams Will Refuse White House Invitation If They Win NBA Finals [VIDEO]
In a press conference ahead of Game 3 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers — scheduled for Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena — the pair of NBA stars defended the Philadelphia Eagles for refusing President Donald Trump‘s invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate their Super Bowl LII victory.
The Eagles were set to visit the White House on Tuesday, but Trump cancelled the event, citing the team’s disagreement with his demand that players stand for the national anthem before games. Many people later pointed out that no Eagles players or coaches ever kneeled or sat during the playing of the anthem last season. Instead, Philadelphia’s players protested the anthem by linking arms or raising their fists to follow Colin Kaepernick‘s lead in raising awareness about racial inequality and police brutality in the U.S.
“It’s typical of him, I’m not surprised,” James said of Trump at the news conference in Cleveland on Tuesday. “I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 5, 2018
“Let’s not let someone uninviting you to their house take away from that moment, because I think the championship … is way bigger than being invited to the White House, especially with him in there, in my opinion,” added the Cavaliers forward about the president.
Curry backed James’ comments on the issue.
“I agree with ‘Bron,” said the two-time MVP. “Pretty sure the way we handled things last year, we’d stay consistent with that. At the end of the day, every team has an opportunity to make for themselves and speak for themselves — and that’s powerful being in that situation.”
Steph Curry weighs in on the Philadelphia Eagles being uninvited from the White House. pic.twitter.com/PpYVVaWPUO
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 5, 2018
Late last fall, Curry and the Warriors declined the invitation to the White House after they won the 2017 NBA championship. “I really just don’t want to go,” Curry said at the time. “That’s it.”
Trump responded on Twitter by saying he had rescinded the team’s invitation and even lashed out at Curry himself.
James replied to the president’s comment with a tweet of his own, in which he called Trump a “bum.”
“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
According to several reports, less than 10 of the more than 80 members of the Eagles organization said they would visit the White House.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the team’s planned visit at Tuesday’s press briefing.
“There were 80 members of the Eagles organization that RSVP’d and committed to attend this event as recently as Friday as well as over a thousand fans of the Eagles organization,” Sanders said. “And the Eagles are the ones that tried to change their commitment at the 11th hour. And the president frankly thinks that the fans deserve better than that.”
Sanders then added she believed the Eagles had committed a “political stunt” by deciding not to make the trip “at the last minute.”
James and Curry have spoken out against Trump several times before. James even drew a rebuke from Fox News host Laura Ingraham earlier this year after he blasted the president for exacerbating racism and racial tensions in the country. Ingraham mocked the Cavs star and other NBA players for being uneducated and said, “shut up and dribble.”