Call it the “Kaepernick Effect.”
Since Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers took a stand during the 2015 NFL season, many athletes are being more vocal in their political opinions. And the same is true of the Golden State Warriors, who, according to various reports, are not coming to Donald Trump‘s White House, as is customary for teams after winning the NBA title.
What makes this situation unique is that the Warriors have reportedly decided not to do so as a team. After the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl this year, various reports emerged regarding various players who wouldn’t be attending the traditional visit to the White House. Some players attended, some didn’t.
The Warriors’ decision is not surprising given the public statements its players and personnel have made about the president.
NBC Sports reports that just last month, Warriors coach Steve Kerr called President Trump a “blowhard” and “ill-suited” for the office he holds. “Has anyone ever thought that Donald Trump was a great leader?” Kerr said.
Similarly, Warriors guard Steph Curry reacted to UnderArmour CEO Kevin Plank calling President Trump a “real asset” to the nation by saying, “I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et’.”
Although Kaepernick has paid dearly for his stance of not standing during the national anthem (the back up quarterback has not been picked up by any NFL team), NBA players have taken numerous political stances over the years including wearing hoodies after the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and wearing “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” t-shirts after the death of Mike Brown in 2014.
The NBA has the highest percentage of Black players of any U.S. or Canadian professional league, while the NFL, although 70 percent Black, is generally viewed as having more conservative owners and fans.
Golden State beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 in Game 5 of the NBA Championships.
SOURCE: NBC Sports