“Nah, I won’t do that,” said Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”
Durant spoke to ESPN on Thursday as his hometown of Seat Pleasant celebrated Kevin Durant Day for all of his achievements on and off the court.
The Warriors visit the nation’s capital Feb. 28 to take on the Washington Wizards. The White House has not extended a formal invitation to the Warriors.
Durant expounded on why he would bypass a White House visit, a ritual for professional teams coming off championship seasons.
“I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” said Durant, who said it wasn’t an organizational decision. “That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.”
Durant’s hometown is 11 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. Ever since he was a kid, he dreamed of taking the Larry O’Brien Trophy to the front steps of the White House.
However, Trump’s divisive rhetoric over the past few years and his controversial public response to what transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend have caused many athletes and politicians to voice their frustrations.
“I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts,” Durant said. “I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.
“I’m representing a lot of people. As far as what’s going on in our country, for one, as an athlete, you have to commend Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, CP3 [ Chris Paul]?[and] Dwyane Wade for starting that conversation last year. Russell Westbrook also said something in his speech. A lot [of] guys with platforms have drove the conversation in a good direction. And what’s going on in Charlottesville, that was unfathomable.”
A white supremacist rally protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue was organized in Charlottesville last week. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed Saturday when a car, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr., plowed into a crowd that was protesting the white nationalists. Over a dozen demonstrators were also injured.
Durant believes the president has played a role in the escalation of racial tension in the United States and the public…