As Golden State Warriors fans—and the rest of the world—woke up Tuesday morning to the news of the Dubs latest championship, many also learned of their team’s “unanimous decision” to skip the usual White House visit bestowed upon championship teams.
Unfortunately, that news was fake—sourced to “reports” by a lone CNBC contributor and picked up by a number of other outlets. (Maybe he should’ve read Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David A. Vise’s RealClearLife column about anonymous sourcing.)
The real news is actually no new news…yet. The Warriors provided an official statement to Mercury News reporter Anthony Slater, saying “Today is all about celebrating our championship. We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary.”
But the speculation isn’t entirely unwarranted.
Coach Steve Kerr has been an outspoken critic of President Trump, most recently telling Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Ballard that “The modern coach has to be much more communicative, flexible, aware, conscientious, all those things. Frankly, I think it’s why Trump couldn’t be more ill-suited to be president, because he’s a blowhard.” The team’s star point guard Steph Curry has also made negative comments about the president.
If players from the Warriors do choose the boycott route, it wouldn’t be the first time members of a major sports franchise did so. This past April, seven New England Patriots players—including quarterback Tom Brady, running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive end Chris Long, defensive tackle Alan Branch, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, tight end Martellus Bennett, and safety Devin McCourty—skipped their White House visit. Back in 2011, goalie Tim Thomas of the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins boycotted his team’s visit to the Obama White House for political reasons.