The list of athletes who’d refuse a championship-commemorating visit to President Donald Trump in the White House keeps getting longer. Kevin Durant joined those ranks on Thursday.
“Nah, I won’t do that,” Durant told ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “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. That’s just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they’ll all agree with me.”
Durant criticized the president’s handling of last week’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists—many of whom were carrying guns, brandishing Nazi symbols, and chanting Nazi slogans—rallied against the removal of a Confederate monument. A woman was killed and dozens were injured when someone drove a car into a crowd of people who were protesting the rally.
Trump didn’t condemn the white nationalist groups that were present, instead assigning blame to “both sides.”
“He’s definitely driving it,” Durant said. “I feel ever since he’s got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided, and it’s not a coincidence. When [Barack] Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.
“So to see that and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top. Leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn’t care about all people, then we won’t go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won’t see any progress.”
Warriors teammate Stephen Curry has also said he wouldn’t visit Trump’s White House to honor the team’s most recent championship. LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Martellus Bennett, and Devin McCourty, all members of the New England Patriots’ recent Super Bowl-winning team, have said they won’t visit Trump, either.
Durant summed up many athletes’ sentiments more simply in a separate interview with TMZ: “That’s how it’s supposed to be. We don’t f**k with him.”