The Golden State Warriors will meet with local children and make a stop at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday during a D.C.-trip traditionally reserved by reigning National Basketball Association champions for a White House visit.
Warriors all-star shooting guard Klay Thompson unveiled the team's plans after a Monday night victory against the New York Knicks. The basketball team had kept its itinerary for their trip to the nation's capital, their first and only D.C. game stop in the 2017-18 NBA regular season, under wraps after President Donald Trump abruptly rescinded their traditional White House invite last year.
"The White House is a great honor but there's extenuating circumstances that we felt that we're not comfortable doing," Thompson told reporters. "We're not going to politicize anything, we're just going to hang out with some kids, take them to an African-American museum and hopefully teach them things we learned along the way and life lessons, and we'll still be getting some great memories."
NBA champs typically visit the White House during their trip to play the Washington Wizards in D.C. The Warriors and Wizards will face off at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.
But Trump tweeted in September that his invite to the team, which defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to claim the NBA title last season, was "withdrawn" after star point guard Steph Curry questioned the merits of meeting with the president.
"Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Trump wrote on Twitter. Curry had told reporters that if it were up to him, discussions over whether to skip the team's White House visit would be a "short conversation."
“By not going, hopefully that will inspire some change in terms of what we tolerate in this country,” Curry said after Trump's comments. The remarks came as Trump faced continued backlash over the president’s repeated equivocations about white nationalists who sparked protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Trump has publicly sparred with several African-American athletes while in office and has become a frequent target of criticism of prominent black athletes.
Perennial all-star LeBron James told reporters last month that Trump "has given people and racism, and negative racism, an opportunity to be out and outspoken without fear."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been an outspoken critic of the president, decrying his verbal attacks on athletes and his rhetoric on race and gender, which he's called "racist" and "misogynistic."
"Instead of unifying and trying to calm the storm, he's creating it," Kerr said of Trump during an interview CNN in November.