SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.
Trump tweeted Saturday that Curry is no longer invited to the White House because of what the president called hesitation by the two-time NBA MVP in deciding whether to make the traditional champions’ trip to Washington. Trump’s comment on Curry came one day after the president told NFL owners to fire players who won’t stand for the national anthem.
It was not immediately clear whether Trump was rescinding the invitation for Curry or the entire team.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump wrote from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The Warriors, who hold their first practice of the season Saturday, had not made a collective decision whether to go to the White House in celebration of last season’s title. Curry has said he did not want to make such a visit.
“By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” Curry said Friday at the Warriors’ media day. “It’s not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.”
The Warriors were expected to comment further later Saturday after their opening practice. Other athletes weighed in quickly, including LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“U bum (at)StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going!” James tweeted. “So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
For Trump, it was the NFL one day, the NBA the next.
At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL players who refused to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” are exhibiting a “total disrespect of our heritage.” Several NFL players, starting last season with then-San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have either knelt, sat or raised fists during the anthem to protest police treatment of blacks and social injustice.
“That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” Trump said, encouraging owners to act. He added, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strongly backed his league’s players.
“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Goodell said in a statement.
Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman said the president’s behavior is “unacceptable and needs to be addressed.”
“If you do not condemn this divisive rhetoric you are condoning it!!” Sherman tweeted.
Trump also bemoaned what he called a decline in violence in football, noting that it’s “not the same game” because players are now either penalized or thrown out of games for aggressive tackles.