If the Golden State Warriors are invited to the White House to celebrate their NBA championship victory, Kevin Durant will not be in attendance.
It is a ritual for sports teams to visit the White House after winning a championship. Under former President Barack Obama, a basketball connoisseur, the trip to the White House was widely anticipated by NBA players.
But after President Donald Trump’s divisive response to a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, Durant has had enough.
"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that," said Durant, who is coming off the most efficient playoff performance in NBA history. "That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."
The White House has yet to formally invite the Warriors for a visit and has not yet responded to SB Nation’s requests for comment on Durant and Golden State.
Durant views skipping any team trip to the White House as a way of making his views clear.
"I'm representing a lot of people. As far as what's going on in our country, for one as an athlete, you have to commend Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, CP3 (Chris Paul), [and] Dwyane Wade for starting that conversation last year,” he said. “Russell Westbrook also said something in his speech. A lot guys with platforms have drove the conversation in a good direction.
“And what's going on in Charlottesville, that was unfathomable."
Durant joins a growing number of professional athletes who have spoken out against racism and disagreed with President Trump's comments on white supremacists and Confederate statues in the aftermath of Charlottesville. He also believes the president has played a part in escalating the racial tension in America
"He's definitely driving it," Durant said. "I feel ever since he's got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it's not a coincidence. When Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.
"So, to see that, and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top — leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn't care about all people, then we won't go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won't see any progress."