ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose thinks some professional athletes, especially those in the NBA, who are invited to the White House to be recognized for winning championships will skip the festivities because Donald Trump will be president.
After Trump won the presidential election on Tuesday, there has been talk about how sports teams will handle the tradition of visiting the executive office.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are scheduled to visit President Obama in the White House on Thursday, the same day Trump will speak with Obama.
“While personal politics in general can by a divisive topic. And for Donald Trump, during his candidacy, he became a polarizing candidate, which included along the way, insulting a lot of people,” Rose said. “So those same people today as American citizens have to digest that he’s going to be the next president of the United States. How it’s going to affect sports? Unlike Tom Brady, when his team won the championship, and he chose not to go to the White House, saying it was a scheduling conflict when Barack Obama was in office. What we’re going to see in professional sports — NBA and NFL — mark my words, there will be players that decline the opportunity to visit the White House under his presidency.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who won this year’s Stanley Cup, visited the White House last month and the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos made the trip in June.
The Chicago Cubs have yet to announce any plans to make the White House trip after winning the World Series. Obama tweeted an invitation to the team after their Game 7 triumph against the Cleveland Indians.
“I know after he tweeted that out, and that was well before the election, there was a lot of interest from our players in taking him up on that invitation,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said. “There was some momentum for it. Nothing’s been finalized, but we’ll see where it goes. It’d be nice given the Chicago ties, obviously.”