The most powerful aspect of Stephen Curry’s statement about not wanting to visit the White House, to me at least, was the part about needing to figure out what the Golden State Warriors would do, “...on the back end to push their message into action.”
To those who say that skipping the ceremonial visit to the White House is a meaningless act of symbolism, Curry stated his intention to use his platform to do more than merely make symbolic gestures or 5 a.m. tweets about his beliefs.
Well, today, President Donald Trump of course responded to Curry and the Golden State Warriors in a tweet stating that they would not be invited to the White House. Hours later, the Warriors reinforced Curry’s words with a press release stating their intention to use their trip to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the values they embrace as an organization instead of a photo opp at the White House with a man who seems entirely consumed with demeaning black athletes right now.
“In lieu of a visit to the White House,” the Warriors statement reads, “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.”
Golden State Warriors release statement on Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/VmdNKqLBrs— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 23, 2017
What form the Warriors’ celebration of values takes remains to be seen, but it’s clear that any celebration of their stated values will run in direct opposition to everything President Donald Trump represents.
House leader Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) already invited the Warriors to visit the Capitol back in June. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported yesterday that “several D.C.-based community-service organizations” have offered to collaborate with the franchise to put together some sort of celebration of the 2017 NBA Champions. Marc Spears of ESPN tweeted this afternoon that the Warriors are considering a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture during their trip to D.C. during this upcoming season.
Regardless, with all the attention they’ve been getting, you can bet that more creative offers of collaboration will come along, specifically focused on maximizing the massive platform that the Warriors have established to be a force of good in the world.
Steve Kerr elaborated on the Warriors’ statement later today during media availability at the Warriors’ practice facility, noting that he has met with everyone from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama and would normally have no reservations about visiting the White House regardless of political differences.
“In normal times they would be able to set aside political differences and go visit,” Kerr said in a statement captured on video by Connor Letourneau of the S.F. Chronicle. “Because of the differences that exist in the country, the President made it really difficult for us to honor that institution.”
Steve Kerr was his candid self when talking about Trump today. pic.twitter.com/C32bZP4k2U— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) September 23, 2017
Kerr called the fact that he's still talking about the WH on the first day of practice "mind-boggling."— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) September 23, 2017
In the grand scheme of things, the idea that a U.S. president would even think to engage in a public spat with a professional sports franchise is truly mind-boggling, which is saying something given how absurdly abnormal these times are — that’s not a partisan statement as much as a sad statement about the current state of affairs in our nation as there are so many concrete policy matters that need attention in our nation.
As outspoken Warriors veteran David West said today, nothing about this makes any sense whatsoever.
David West on Trump: "Nothing he does make sense."— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) September 23, 2017
(S/O to BornInDaEB for posting a FanShot with the Warriors’ statement first)