Nick Nurse, head coach of the NBA champion Toronto Raptors, turned down an opportunity to visit the White House saying he’d rather visit Justin Trudeau.
This, despite the fact that President Trump hasn’t extended an invitation to him or his team.
To be fair, Nurse was kind of goaded into answering a hypothetical by a media obsessed with athletes dissing President Trump.
The basketball coach was interviewed by 590 The Fan’s Prime Time Sports where he revealed that the team had been invited to Parliament Hill following their NBA Finals victory.
When asked about a potential White House visit, Nurse responded “You know, we’re here. Let’s go see Trudeau up in Ottawa. We’re Canada’s team.”
Fair enough, but President Trump hasn’t even congratulated the Raptors on Twitter as he sometimes does after major sporting events, let alone extended an invite to the Oval Office.
#Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse confirmed to Sportsnet’s 590 The Fan that the team has received an invitation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit Ottawa, but has yet to hear from the White House. https://t.co/0GWWMDqIKX #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/KfANcx5WIv
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) June 19, 2019
It’s hard to fault Nurse here. He was asked a question and he deflected by praising the team’s home country. It’s the media that wanted a soundbite simply because they just love it when athletes go social justice warrior and refuse to meet with Trump.
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The mayor of the Canadian capital of Ottawa encouraged Nurse to skip the White House and visit Parliament Hill.
— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) June 14, 2019
The last Canadian team to visit the White House was the 1992 World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays. They won again the following year, as did the NHL’s Montreal Canadians, but both teams failed to travel to D.C.
It’s been 27 years since a Canadian team traveled to meet the American president, with a couple flat-out skipping for various reasons. Still, expect the media to paint this as a specific insult to Trump should the Raptors also choose not to visit.
There are many NBA stars who do have an issue with the President regardless.
The Golden State Warriors did not make the trip to the White House after winning the NBA championship in 2017 or 2018 and many players have been vocally opposed to the President.
The league’s biggest star, LeBron James, has also been a major Trump critic.
In 2018, James whined about the President rescinding an invitation to the Philadelphia Eagles and claimed “no one wants an invite anyway.”
He launched a profanity-laced insult at the President during an ESPN broadcast earlier that year.
“The No. 1 job in America, the appointed person is someone who doesn’t understand the people,” James alleged. “And really don’t give a f*** about the people.”
Would you blame Trump if he didn’t bother inviting professional athletes at all any longer?
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