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The honor is not in the White House but the home

by Alyssa Daley
Tue, Feb 27th 2018 10:25 pm

President 45, a.k.a. Donald Trump, has taken it upon himself to start a war with almost everybody from Oprah Winfrey to Kim Jong Un. He has also been forthright about his disdain of athletes not standing during the national anthem. Previous 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first pro-athlete to kneel for the national anthem during one of his NFL matchups. By the time Trump was sworn into office, kneeling during the anthem was being picked up by teams within and outside of the NFL. 

In September 2017, Trump sent out a series of tweets (his typical method of communication to the public) that read: “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect … our great American flag (or country) and should stand for the national anthem. If not you’re fired. Find something else to do!” 

Although Kaepernick’s career with the 49ers is over, the legacy of kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality against black Americans and Trump’s distaste for it are still very much alive.

 If you’re wondering if police brutality is still an issue, it most certainly is. Social injustice doesn’t disappear overnight. According to The Guardian, racial minorities made up about 37.4 percent of the general population in the United States, and 46.6 percent of armed and unarmed victims in 2015. They also made up 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police. There is not only racial disparity in fatal police shootings, but also in the nation’s justice system, where blacks are incarcerated at five times the rate of their white counterparts, according to prisonpolicy.org. The statistics don’t lie, and so the protest continues to not only be relevant, but necessary.

As the NBA season was set to begin just under a month after Trump’s Twitter proclamation against the protest, it was up in the air as to whether the organization would uphold its rule that all athletes had to stand for the national anthem. The Oakland, California Golden Warriors’ Stephen Curry and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James became the center of attention after Curry said he would not be visiting the White House if the team won the championship, which then meant Trump had to take to his favorite social media platform. 

Trump’s tweet read: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

LeBron couldn’t let President 45 disrespect his frenemy by painting him in a negative light, so he responded on his own twitter profile to call Trump out on his lie.

“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going,” LeBron tweeted. “So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

Other teammates of Curry and NBA athletes in general showed their support for the Golden Warrior, whose fearlessness extends beyond the basketball court. All of this happened within the month of September last year; just this week, the team revealed their  plan to celebrate  the 2017 championship win with a private tour around the nation’s capital. This tour is what the players have decided on in place of the annual White House visit. 

Honestly, I don’t blame them. I don’t think I could handle being in the same room with a man who is so blatant and unapologetic about his misogynistic, racist, homophobic and “you name a negative, horribly offensive and harmful term” views, that he’s inciting violence around the country, and making almost every person who belongs to a minority group afraid. Within days of his inauguration, states across the country recorded record high violent acts of racism, according to Time, and the rate of violent acts against women doesn’t need any help to rise. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted in the U.S. This statistic isn’t exclusive to women, but the likelihood of Trump supporting a man who reported experiencing sexual assault is comparable to the likelihood of a cow actually jumping over the moon. 

As the majority of the Golden Warriors share similar sentiments, they have decided meeting with local kids in D.C. is a much better use of their time. In an interview with ESPN, head coach Steve Kerr said he only wants the team to spend time doing something that will make the athletes happy.

“It’s their championship,” Kerr told ESPN. “They got disinvited to the White House, so it’s up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans. I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they’re doing.”

During a time when Trump’s antagonizing antics seem to bring only negativity, it’s heartwarming that Curry and his teammates have chosen to celebrate their big win by sharing it with some of their youngest fans.

 For those of us with privilege, which all of us have if we’re attending The College at Brockport, the most important thing we can do is help amplify people’s voices who aren’t as fortunate as we are, and that’s exactly what the Golden Warriors are doing by taking the time to help future generations develop and feel recognized.

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