Thursday was just another day of progressive politics in professional sports. The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors met informally with their former president, progressive Barack Obama, and some members of the team also met with their champion of "San Francisco politics," progressive Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Phillip Barnett, a writer for Warriors Wire whose story appeared in USA Today, noted the Warriors are not exactly on speaking terms with Republican President Donald Trump. Golden State Coach Steve Kerr and team members Steph Curry and Kevin Durant have made derogatory comments about President Trump in recent years. Curry also indicated he would not participate in a team visit to the White House in 2017. The Warriors visited President Obama in the White House after they won the 2015 NBA title.
Trump responded to Curry's rejection by disinviting the Warriors to a White House reception. Biased sports media naturally sided with the Warriors in the feud that ensued.
Golden State's meeting with the former president (see Obama in the center) lasted about an hour and a group photo by team security guard Tony Banks appeared on Instagram Thursday afternoon. It's since been deleted, but the photo is on Twitter and shows the team's full roster happily posing with Obama. Coach Kerr did not attend the meeting at Obama's office.
As the feud between President Trump and Golden State escalated in 2017, Curry called the commander in chief an "asset" without the et. The former NBA MVP said the Warriors could possibly “inspire some change” and “send a statement” by snubbing a visit to Donald Trump’s White House, the Guardian's Bob Williams wrote in 2017:
“That we don’t stand for basically what our president has … the things that he’s said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right times, that we won’t stand for it. And by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to. It’s not just the act of not going there. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion."
Golden State forward Kevin Durant said he would not visit the Trump White House either. During a conversation with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers forward's internet program, The Uninterrupted, Durant said the nation has a poor coach in the White House:
“I don’t respect who’s in office right now. When we’re talking about leadership and what’s going on in our country, it’s all about leadership, and I learned that playing basketball. I learned a lot of life skills from playing basketball. You need to empower people, you need to encourage people, and that’s what builds a great team. And I feel like our team as a country is not run by a great coach.
Kerr, a big advocate of gun control, said last summer that President Trump just uses sports teams as political pawns. “It’s not surprising. I think the President has made it clear he’s going to try to divide us – all of us – in this country for political gain. That’s just the way it is. I think we all look forward to the day when we can go back to just having a celebration of athletic achievement and celebrate Americans for their achievement, their good deeds."
The Warriors went back to that "day" this week in D.C. when they palled up with their fellow progressive Barack Obama for a celebration of athletic achievement. And progressive politics.