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Pittsburgh Penguins accept White House invitation

Pittsburgh Penguins accept White House invitation
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The Pittsburgh Penguins said on Sunday that the NHL team has accepted an invitation to visit the White House this year.

In a statement Sunday, the Penguins said the team respects the institution of the office of the president and the "long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House."

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"We attended White House ceremonies after previous championships - touring the historic building and visiting briefly with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama: Voting rights bill must pass before next election The world's most passionate UFO skeptic versus the government Biden plans to host Obama for portrait unveiling that Trump skipped: report MORE - and have accepted an invitation to attend again this year," the statement said. "Any agreement or disagreement with a president's politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways. However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit."

The announcement from the Stanley Cup champions comes one day after the NBA champion Golden State Warriors announced they would not meet with President Trump, as is the tradition.

The Warriors on Saturday said that they would not go to the White House after Trump withdrew an invitation to Stephen Curry.

Trump said in a tweet that going to the White House is a great honor. Curry was "hesitating," Trump added, "therefore invitation is withdrawn."

The team said later it would instead spend its time in Washington, D.C. celebrating "equality, diversity and inclusion."

"We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them," the Warriors said in a statement. "We're disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have an open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise," the statement read.  

Trump last week also launched a series of attacks on NFL players who have chosen to kneel during the national anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now,'" Trump said, adding, "'He is fired.'"

On Sunday, Trump doubled down on his comments, saying if NFL fans refuse to go to games "until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast."

"Fire or suspend!" Trump tweeted.

Many teams have spoken out against Trump's comments, calling them divisive and disappointing.