Another athlete, another White House snub. The latest protest comes from the Washington, D.C. area’s own Kevin Durant, who recently won an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors this past June.

During a visit back to Maryland to celebrate “Kevin Durant Day,” the soon-to-be 30-year-old said he wouldn’t visit the White House if the Warriors are invited to meet the president.

Kevin Durant Day in Seat Pleasant, MD. (Screengrab from Kevin Durant’s Instagram page)

“I don’t agree with what he agrees with so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant told reporters. Durant’s disdain was just another shot in the direction of the American government, which continues to take a frequent bashing from a growing number of athletes.

Athletes have boycotted White House visits before and expressed strong opinions about the U.S. government, but social media and 24-hour news outlets have given athletes a bigger voice than ever. The fact that an area-born Washingtonian refuses to visit the White House to celebrate undoubtedly the biggest sporting accomplishment of his career because of who’s occupying the Oval Office only continues the rolling joke that Trump’s presidency has been since it started.

Who knows who Durant voted for, but clearly he isn’t happy with the 45th president as he joins a growing list of angry athletes. Even LeBron James piggybacked off of Durant’s displeasure, using Twitter to announce his own opinions about the lack of social and racial awareness displayed by Trump over recent events in Charlottesville, Va.

Plain and simple: both James and Durant want Trump out of office. Stand in line, gentlemen. The hatred towards Trump grows day by day, but the negativity is beginning to overtake even the most positive events. “Durant Day” in Seat Pleasant, Md. was scheduled to be a celebratory moment for Prince George’s County residents, but the opportunity to highlight all of the donations and charity work that Durant has done for his community was drowned out by media outlets more interested in his politics.

Durant has a huge platform as one of the best players in the NBA. As athletes continue to lean on their large voices to sway the masses, politics and sports have never truly mixed. No number of championships or titles will ever push an athlete higher than the U.S. government. Durant’s absence from a prospective White House visit won’t hurt or help him. And it certainly won’t affect Trump or his party. Instead, he let his dislike for an entirely separate avenue of life overshadow a special day in his honor. Sports will never dictate politics but as we have witnessed, politics can easily swallow up headlines, rendering everything else secondary. Durant took a backseat to Golden State’s star-studded roster on his way to his first title. On a day in his honor, he took a backseat once again.


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO