Trump Calls Penguins ‘Incredible Patriots’ During White House Visit
The Pittsburgh Penguins visited the White House on Tuesday after winning their fifth-ever and second straight Stanley Cup this year, and President Donald Trump lauded them as “true champions and incredible patriots.”
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Trump also allegedly joked that team owner Mario Lemieux could help renegotiate NAFTA. Among the players who attended were Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray, Jake Guentzel, Kris Letang, and Conor Sheary.
Some reporters, including ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, claimed Crosby tried to evade Trump as much as possible. Wyshynski even made a joke about the visit by alluding to the former “Apprentice” star’s infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which he was heard boasting of sexually assaulting women to Billy Bush.
Sid made effort to avoid Trump in ceremony, but the thing is that when you’re famous enough, you can just grab (the Penguins captain’s hand)
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) October 10, 2017
Crosby said before Tuesday’s visit that “there’s absolutely no politics involved” from his standpoint.
The visit comes at a time when Trump has lambasted NFL players for “disrespecting the flag and anthem” by sitting or kneeling. Only some black NHL players have made similar protests, though the President has not made any mention of them.
Ryan Reaves, the Pens’ only black player, was obtained in the offseason so he wasn’t eligible for Tuesday’s fete. But Reaves, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last month that he would not have attended even if he could have: “I don’t agree with certain things that (Trump) stands for or he says.”
The Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in six games in the Stanley Cup Finals.
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 10: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at an event honoring the National Hockey League champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the East Room of the White House October 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in the 2017 NHL Finals, the fifth time the franchise has won the Stanley Cup. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)