While the Golden State Warriors are expected to visit the White House and meet President Donald Trump in February, one player has already said he’s not going.
Kevin Durant told ESPN that he’s not going on the White House visit, a tradition for teams following championship seasons.
“Nah, I won’t do that,” Durant told ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”
Although the White House has yet to extend a formal invitation to the Warriors, Durant was stern with his decision. He said he’s using his platform to show how he doesn’t agree with the president’s recent actions and words in the wake of the Charlottesville event that left three dead, 34 injured after a white nationalist rally sparked violence.
“I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts,” Durant said. “I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.”
Durant isn’t the only athlete frustrated with Trump’s rhetoric. Cavaliers star LeBron James went after Trump in an emotional speech on Tuesday night, calling him the “so-called president” while calling for unity in light of the Charlottesville tragedy.
Standing on stage before students, parents and families connected to his foundation at the end of a daylong event at Cedar Point Amusement Park, James said he wanted to spend a moment addressing the weekend’s violent protests, where a woman was killed amid ugly clashes between far-right extremists and protesters out to stop them.
While holding his baby daughter, James turned his thoughts to the violence.
“I know there’s a lot of tragic things happening in Charlottesville (Virginia),” James said. “I just want to speak on it right now. I have this platform and I’m somebody that has a voice of command and the only way for us to get better as a society and for us to get better as people is love. And that’s the only way we’re going to be able to conquer something as one. It’s not about the guy that’s the so-called president of the United States, or whatever the case.”
This all comes after the NBA superstar blasted Trump on Twitter for appearing to equate the actions of white supremacists and those protesting them.
Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 15, 2017
Contributing: Associated Press