“Nah, I won’t do that,” Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP told ESPN. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”
Championship visits to the White House have become a regular occurrence in recent decades. But many champion athletes — including several New England Patriots players — have declared that they wouldn’t make the customary trip in protest of Trump’s administration.
Durant is just the latest to voice his decision, and the NBA star said he’s sure his team will follow his lead.
“I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant told ESPN of Trump. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll agree with me.”
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Earlier this year, the team shut down rumors that they had decided not to visit Trump’s White House.
“We have not received an invitation to the White House, but will make those decisions when and if necessary,” the team said in a statement in June. It is unclear if the team has been invited yet.
Durant’s comments come in the wake of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three people dead and dozens more injured.
Durant told the publication that Trump’s rhetoric on the events has led to increased racial tension in the country.
“He’s definitely driving it. I feel ever since he’s got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided, and it’s not a coincidence,” the athlete said.
“So to see that and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top. Leadership trickles down to the rest of us … In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won’t see any progress.”