While there have been hints — and even overt statements — that players on NBA championship teams over the next four years will forgo the traditional visit to the White House because of President-elect Donald Trump, NBA commissioner Adam Silver is imploring players not to go through with any such boycott.
Silver says a visit to the White House would provide an opportunity for socially conscious players to speak with Trump about issues that concern them.
In a piece on The Undefeated that touches on several facets of the league’s intersection wit Silver says:
“To me, if a player were to choose not to go to the White House, whether they were choosing not to go to the current White House or a future White House, my response would be: ‘That’s a lost opportunity.’ Because that’s an opportunity that most citizens who have a political point of view would kill for — the opportunity to directly tell the president of the United States how they feel about an issue.
Now, if the president were to say, ‘I have no interest in what members of the NBA think about an issue,’ that might surprise me and I might have a different response.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers visited President Obama on Nov. 10, two days after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, and there were suggestions it may have been the last trip to the White House by an NBA champion as long as Trump lives there.