(CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors star forward Kevin Durant said he would not visit President Donald Trump at the White House if the NBA champions are invited.
The 2017 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player spoke with ESPN Thursday during a celebration in his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland. The event was in honor of Durant’s achievements on and off the court.
“Nah, I won’t do that,” Durant told ESPN. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”
So far, the Warriors have not been formally invited to the White House, a tradition for championship sports teams that was made commonplace during the Reagan presidency.
“I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant told ESPN. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.”
In June, the Warriors announced the organization had not yet made a decision on whether the NBA champs would visit the White House if invited.
Team members have been critical of President Trump, including head coach Steve Kerr who expressed disappointment following Trump’s election in November for using “racist, misogynist, insulting words” during the campaign.
Kerr has also spoken out against President Trump’s travel ban.
Following the violence in Charlottesville Durant told ESPN he believes President Trump helped escalate racial tension in the U.S. and fomented the rise of white supremacists.
“He’s definitely driving it,” Durant said. “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. When [Barack] Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.
“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. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn’t care about all people, then we won’t go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won’t see any progress.”
In 2015, the Warriors visited with President Barack Obama after capturing the NBA title.
The tradition of inviting sports teams to the White House dates as far back as 1865, but it was an infrequent occurrence. In the 80s, President Ronald Reagan turned it into a ritual for winning teams to visit the White House after every season.