The Golden State Warriors may go to the White House after all if the players listen to their head coach, Steve Kerr.
Even before the Warriors were crowned NBA champions, people were wondering if they would become the first sports team to reject an invitation to the White House from President Donald Trump based on comments made by both Kerr and some of the players. Since winning the title, several reports have done little to change that perception.
One report said Kerr had decided in November to not go to the White House but that he didn’t want that sentiment made public for fear of looking presumptuous about winning the title.
Later, Andre Iguodala said “Hell nah,” when asked if would want to visit the White House, but also said he would follow the lead of Stephen Curry.
Curry then said he “wouldn’t go” to the White House, but also said he wanted to talk to his teammates first before making a final decision.
But on Wednesday, Kerr was singing a different tune as a guest on “The TK Show,” a podcast hosted by Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News. Kerr sounded open to the idea of going and said he wants the players to consider it out of respect and because it could send a positive message.
“I would want to make sure the players gave this really a lot of thought,” Kerr said. “I do think it is very important to consider a potential invitation because I think it could have really positive ramifications if we did go. It’s a different way to look at it. I, like many of our players, am very offended by some of Trump’s words and actions. On the other hand, I do think there’s something to respecting the office, respecting our institutions, our government. And I think it can make a statement in a time when there is so much divide and everybody seems to be angry with each other. It might be a good statement for us to go and to show, ‘Hey, let’s put this aside, put all this partisan stuff aside, and personal stuff aside, respect the institution, and maybe even if one of you players wants to voice your concerns over what’s happening, what better opportunity to do so.’ That may be incredibly idealistic, but I would want to at least bring that up with our players as an option rather than just coming out and saying, ‘No way, I’m not going.'”
Kerr did admit that this may all be a moot point if Trump chooses to not even invite the Warriors.
“This might not even be a point because of how vocal we’ve all been in our opposition to Trump’s actions and some of his words,” Kerr said. “So we may not get the invitation. But it’s something I absolutely would entertain.”
Kerr went on to reiterate that it is important to “respect the institution” and that maybe a trip to the White House would be a symbolic gesture and a way to connect people.
“This is not about partisan policy,” Kerr said. “This is not about Democrat or Republican. It’s about communication. It’s about respect. It’s about character and morality. And those are things we have to really value as a country.”
Kerr still sounded a bit conflicted himself. When presented with the visual of handing a Warriors jersey to Trump, Kerr pumped the brakes a bit and simply reemphasized that the team just needs to discuss whether it could be a good thing to go.
“It’s worth a discussion for sure.”
You can here the discussion at the 31:54 mark below: