It’s not much of a surprise, but at least we have confirmation. If the Golden State Warriors are invited to the White House for a championship visit with Donald Trump, at least one star won’t be going: Kevin Durant.
Speaking in an ESPN article published on Thursday, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP said he didn’t respect who currently held the office of president.
Durant was interviewed as part of his Kevin Durant Day in his local Washington D.C. area suburb of Seat Pleasant, Maryland.
He is not the first NBA player to come forward and speak out about Trump in the aftermath of Charlottesville. LeBron James, Jabari Parker, and other NBA players have denounced the tone of Trump’s politics and positions in the public sphere.
The Warriors star had a lot to say on the subject, but I think this was most poignant.
“Nah, I won’t do that,” said Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP. “I don’t respect who’s in office right now.”
“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.”
“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.”
Durant also mentioned the need for more sports stars to come out and voice their opinions as a matter of leadership and as role models in the community.
That is definitely a huge part of the impact that sports stars can have. We all know how important NBA players are to pop culture and the culture of basketball itself. Couple that with how much influence they have as individual brands, as major players in the corporate sphere, and hopefully it will help them make a positive impact.
It’s great that NBA players are coming out and standing up against this kind of violence, and good on the NBA for making sure their voices as individuals aren’t silenced.