- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins did not promote much from their trip to President Donald Trump’s White House on Tuesday to commemorate their Stanley Cup victory from earlier this year.
A quick scan of the team’s Twitter and Instagram feeds found no posts or photos from the event. On Facebook, the team posted one photo of several players standing in the White House Green Room. That same photo was posted as a media release on the team’s official website.
That was a stark contrast from the team’s visit just one year prior, when the Penguins visited the White House to commemorate their 2016 championship. For example, the Penguins’ official Twitter account posted seven tweets from the event.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins respect the institution of the Office of the President, and the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House,” the team said in a statement following Trump’s comments late last month on NFL players who protested during the national anthem and his uninviting of NBA star Stephen Curry from visiting the White House with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors championship team.
“We attended White House ceremonies after previous championships – touring the historic building and visiting briefly with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama – and have accepted an invitation to attend again this year.
“Any agreement or disagreement with a president’s politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways,” the team continued in the statement. “However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit.”
Trump then praised the team on Twitter.
“Pleased to inform that the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL will be joining me at the White House for Ceremony,” Trump tweeted. “Great team!”
He did, at one point, ask Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle – who was a major donor to former President Bill Clinton – to help his administration renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“First of all, he’s a friend of mine for a long time,” Trump said of Burkle. “He’s a great, great negotiator. Ron, how about negotiating some of our horrible trade deals that they’ve made?
“Here’s what I want, I want to get him,” Trump continued. “I would love to have Ron Burkle. It’s great to have you, Ron. But I really mean that. If you want to get involved in negotiating NAFTA, I like it. Cause we’re renegotiating NAFTA, Ron.”