NBA champions won't be invited to White House, warns Donald Trump

Trump issued his snub amid a divisive controversy that resulted in the Philadelphia Eagles not making the trip to see the president as tradition usually dictates for the NFL champions

Susan Heavey
Friday 08 June 2018 17:48 BST
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The Warriors and Cavaliers are midway through the NBA's championship finals
The Warriors and Cavaliers are midway through the NBA's championship finals

US president Donald Trump has said the winners of the NBA Finals, currently being contested between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, will not be invited to the White House.

Trump issued his snub amid a divisive controversy that resulted in the Philadelphia Eagles, winners of the National Football League's Super Bowl this year, not making the trip to see the president as tradition usually dictates for the NFL champions.

Only a few members of the Eagles planned to attend the Tuesday event so Trump, who has lashed out at NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem before games, disinvited them. No Eagles took part in last season's kneeling demonstrations, which began as a way for black players to protest police treatment of minorities.

Trump's attacks on kneeling football players always draw applause at his rallies and he has urged fans to leave a game if they see a player kneeling. A new NFL policy announced last month allows dissenting players to stay in the locker room during the national anthem but Trump said "maybe they shouldn't be in the country".

The Warriors and Cavaliers are midway through the NBA Finals, with the Warriors leading 3-0 after three games, but Trump said on Friday the winner would not be coming to the White House.

The Warriors won last year's title but Trump revoked their invitation after one of their star players, Stephen Curry, said he would vote against visiting Trump.

Curry and the Cavaliers' top player, LeBron James, already have said they would not want to make the White House trip this year.

"We're not going to invite either team," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Trump had "made it pretty clear he's going to try to divide us ... for political gain."

Reuters

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