Trump Effect: Some NBA Players Think Champs Won’t Want to Visit the White House

Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Richard Jefferson and former NBA player Jalen Rose think Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric during his campaign will keep NBA champions from visiting the White House.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden pose for photos with members of the Cleveland Cavaliers during a South Lawn event Nov. 10, 2016, at the White House in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Thursday, President Barack Obama welcomed 2016 NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers to the White House. While the team and the president reportedly avoided politics, a few folks said they believe that the Cavs may be the last team to visit the White House as long as President-elect Donald Trump is in office.

According to NBC Sports, Cavs small forward Richard Jefferson posted a Snapchat noting how happy he was to be the “last team to visit the White House.”

Player-turned-ESPN sports analyst Jalen Rose said that he would expect NFL and NBA players to decline a Trump invitation to visit the White House.

“What we’re going to see in professional sports—NBA and NFL—mark my words, there will be players that decline the opportunity to visit the White House under his presidency,” Rose said during NBA Countdown on Wednesday, Yahoo! reports.

President Obama didn’t let the recent election dampen the mood of Thursday’s festivities as he joked with the team, whose city had gone decades without winning a championship in any sport.

“Welcome to the White House, and give it up for the world-champion Cleveland Cavaliers,” Obama said, CNN reports. “That’s right, I said ‘world champion’ and ‘Cleveland’ in the same sentence.”

If Cleveland wins the 2017 championship, I know another Cavs player who won’t be making the trip to the White House, and that’s LeBron James. James openly supported Hillary Clinton and campaigned with her in Cleveland. On Wednesday morning, a day after Trump’s victory, James took to Instagram writing, “Parents and leaders of our children please let them know they can still change the world for the better! Don’t lose a bit of faith! They’re our future and we must remain stronger than ever!!”

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