Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant said he would boycott the White House if the NBA champions are invited, accusing President Donald Trump of escalating racial tensions in the country. In an interview with ESPN, 2017 NBA Finals MVP Durant said if the Warriors were invited to Washington in keeping with recent tradition of honoring sports teams, he would skip the event in protest.
"Nah, I won't do that," Durant told ESPN at an event in his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland. "I don't respect who's in office right now...I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that."
Durant stressed that his decision was a personal choice, but added that he expected many Warriors players would follow suit if the team was invited.
"That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me," Durant said. Durant's teammate Stephen Curry has already said he would be unlikely to attend while Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been a vocal critic of Trump. Durant was speaking amid an outcry over Trump's response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend that saw neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups clash with counter-protesters. Durant said he believed Trump bore responsibility for stoking racial divisions in the United States. Durant meanwhile saluted athletes who have spoken out about race in America, citing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and NBA superstar LeBron James among others.