Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says that the team has not yet received an invitation to the White House, but they’ll have a group discussion about it if they do and will consider attending.
Kerr went on the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN Chicago this afternoon and said that he would like the team to “entertain the idea of going out of respect for the institution, out of respect for the office itself” as part of a larger comment on the need for unity in the country right now. Kerr has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, as have players Stephen Curry and David West, and unsubstantiated rumors spread shortly after their victory that the team would not attend the White House. (Curry later clarified his personal stance, saying he’d rather not visit, as did Andre Iguodala, who said, “Hell nah.”)
At any rate, they should have some time to consider an invitation, if one comes soon. Last year, the Cavaliers made their White House visit as reigning champions in November, and the Warriors made their visit in February 2016 after winning the 2015 championship.
Here’s the bulk of Kerr’s words on the subject:
“We haven’t been invited. And so if we’re invited, we’ll definitely have a discussion. You know, I’ve been outspoken about Trump, our players have been as well. But my whole thing is—I would want to talk to the team and entertain the idea of going out of respect for the institution, out of respect for the office itself, and maybe as a good gesture to the rest of the country that is so divided right now that maybe it’s like, hey, let’s actually, you know, try to do something that’s unifying, whether you like the person in the office or not. Let’s look at it from a different perspective. So that would be the conversation that I would have with our guys, and ultimately it would be their decision, you know, because it’s about them.
But I think there’s just different ways of looking at it, and what shocks me is just how divided our country is. And since that story came out about whether we’d go to the White House or not, there was a petition—like 50,000 people signed a petition begging us not to go. There are people on the other side who are crushing us, saying that we’re being disrespectful of the office and we should go and we’re not being loyal Americans, and we haven’t even been invited. It’s like, sit back. And I can’t even believe how angry people on both sides are, and then I think, as I said, I think more about—instead of just being angry, what can we do to try to help bring people together in this country, because that’s ultimately going to be a huge factor in our country’s ability to heal and move forward....
“...It’s important to me that there’s a respect for the office and for the institution, and that’s why I would consider going. But I will be perfectly blunt and I know I’ll anger people by saying this, but I want the man who’s sitting in the office to respect that office, too, and that means being above the tweeting and the nasty personal insults and trying to unify the country instead of trying to divide us, and I feel like he’s trying to divide us.... When you’re sitting in that office, it’s really your responsibility to try to unify, and that’s where our players and I have had a difficult time trying to reconcile all this stuff.”