WASHINGTON — They may not be welcome at the White House but the Golden State Warriors are still invited to visit the nation’s capital.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser extended an invitation to the National Basketball Association champions Saturday to visit the city, tweeting that the city is happy to show the team ways to celebrate “equality, diversity and inclusion — what we call DC values.”
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) September 23, 2017
President Donald Trump rescinded the White House invitation in a series of tweets, saying it was Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry’s hesitation to visit that led the president to withdraw the invitation.
On Friday at a political rally for Alabama Republican senate candidate Luther Strange, Trump targeted football players who refused to stand for the national anthem. He urged team owners to fire players who refused to stand.
“That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” Trump said, encouraging owners to act. He added, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.”
On Saturday, Trump echoed his stance.
“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” Trump wrote in an afternoon pair of tweets. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Several football and basketball stars weighed in on Trump’s comments. Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James called the president a bum.
“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
Bowser announced her re-election bid Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.