NBA Commissioner Gives Unexpected Response To Players Plans To Boycott The White House


In an interview with Mike Wise of the sport’s publication, The Undefeated, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sat down to discuss several issues pertaining to the organization.

Specifically, Silver discussed rumors that despite a tradition of NBA champions being invited to visit the White House, some members of the NBA may boycott that practice once President-elect Trump takes office in January.

Known as an advocate for liberal causes, Silver’s position on the matter was somewhat unexpected.

Silver said refusing the chance to visit the White House and meet with the president would be a “lost opportunity.”

“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,” he said. “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.”

He added that, should the president indicate he had no desire to hear what the players had to say, his response would likely change.

Silver said that the opportunity to visit the president is an honor, regardless of the individual in the position.

“The institution is bigger than any one man, whether that man be President Obama or President Trump,” he said, adding, “Ultimately players have to make their own decisions. But if they were seeking my counsel, my counsel would be that they should go to the White House if offered the opportunity.”

The act of inviting professional sports teams to the White House has gone on for years.

The earliest records date back to 1869 when the Cincinnati Red Stockings received an invitation by President Ulysses S. Grant.

Shortly after the election, Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James, who supported Clinton, indicated he was unsure what he would do should the team be invited to the White House.

“We’ll have to cross that road, I guess,” James said. “We’ll see. I would love to have to cross that road.”

Silver made news in July when, in response to North Carolina’s response to the HB-2 bathroom bill, he pulled the scheduled all-star game from Charlotte.

He also assured the players they would be allowed to sit during the playing of The Star Spangled Banner without fear of repercussions.

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