The Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated their 2016 NBA championship at the White House on Thursday. If they win it all again in 2017, they might need to make the trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. without their best player.
Cavaliers star LeBron James told reporters Friday he’s not sure if he’d join the team on any future White House visits after Donald Trump was elected president this week. James was a vocal supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t know. That’s something I would cross,” the four-time NBA MVP said, via Ohio.com. “We’ll have to cross that road, I guess. We’ll see. I would love to have to cross that road.”
James wouldn’t be the first athlete to skip the traditional post-championship trip to Washington, D.C. Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady both did so after their teams won titles in 2011 and 2015, respectively.
“I just look across this league, there’s been other players with ‘scheduling conflicts’ as they like to call it, not necessarily a political stance,” Cavs forward Richard Jefferson told reporters. “But I could see other ‘scheduling conflicts’ coming up. More than anything, you have to respect the presidency. If you have different views, you’re allowed to have different views. That’s what’s amazing about this country. We’re not going to imprison people with different views.
“But if you want to stand up and you want to say, ‘Hey look, my views don’t coincide with this current administration,’ then you have opportunities, especially being leaders in your respective communities.”
James said it was “difficult watching” Tuesday night as Trump won Ohio, a key swing state, en route to his stunning election victory.
“It’s very difficult seeing what happened not only in our state but our country,” he told reporters. “It is what it is. That’s the past. We’ve got to live in the present and (figure out) how we can make the future better.”
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY NETWORK