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Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant says he won’t visit the White House to celebrate his team’s championship with President Trump if they are invited.
"Nah, I won't do that," Durant said Thursday during an interview with ESPN. "I don't respect who's in office right now."
The White House has not yet extended a formal invitation to the Warriors, according to the sports network. The team will visit Washington on Feb. 28 to play the Wizards.
The 2017 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player spoke at a time when Trump has come under fierce criticism for his response to the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
"I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts," Durant said. "I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.”
Durant praised Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who refused to stand during the national anthem to protest police violence against black men, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and other famous athletes for speaking out on political issues.
“A lot [of] guys with platforms have drove the conversation in a good direction. And what's going on in Charlottesville, that was unfathomable,” he said.
Durant’s teammates, Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala, have each expressed reservations about going to the White House to celebrate their title with Trump.
"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that," Durant said. "That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."
Head coach Steve Kerr has asked his players to consider a visit “out of respect for the office itself.”
But Kerr added that “ultimately it would be their decision … because it’s about them.”