‘Great team!’ Trump will welcome Pittsburgh Penguins to White House
As Donald Trump faced backlash for his harsh criticism of athletes who may have kneeled in protest for the national anthem, the Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed on Sunday they should go to White House to celebrate their Stanley Cup victory.
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In an argument, the Penguins said they “respect the institution within the Office with the President, plus the long tradition of championship teams exploring the White House”.
The statement added: “Any agreement or disagreement by using a president’s politics, policies or agenda may be expressed in other ways. However, we very much respect the rights of others and groups expressing themselves when they think fit.”
Trump confirmed the invitation with tweet. “Please[d] to know the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins with the NHL will be joining me on the White House for Ceremony. Great team!” he was quoted saying.
The announcement came on the day that unprecedented amounts of NFL players knelt and pursued other kinds of protest plus a next day Trump withdrew an identical invitation on the Golden State Warriors, breaking a convention going back the Reagan years.
On Friday, point guard Stephen Curry, the NBA champions’ star player, told reporters he planned to vote no when the players joined together to decide whether to visit Trump, adding the Warriors could “inspire some change” and “send a statement” by snubbing obama.
On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted: “Going on the White Home considered a good honor for a championship team, Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”
In an argument issued later, the Warriors said: “While we that will meet as a team on the first opportunity there were today to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump makes it clear that we are not invited.
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“We believe you’ll find nothing more American than our citizens getting the right to express themselves freely on matters essential to them. We’re disappointed that any of us was lacking the opportunity in this method to share our views and have open dialogue on issues we felt can be important to raise.
“In lieu of your visit to the White House, we’ve got decided that we’ll constructively use our vacation to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion – the which we embrace being an organization.”
The Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots were the very first professional team to arrive at the White House since Trump took office in January.
The Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in June to capture an alternate straight Stanley Cup in addition to their third in nine seasons. Their previous post-championship visits came while in the presidencies of George HW Bush and Barack Obama.