South Carolina women’s basketball team, reigning NCAA Tournament champions the Gamecocks, have declined their invitation to visit the White House today and meet with President Trump in D.C. This is yet another example of a nationally known sports team refusing to accept what has traditionally been a great honor in this country, before Trump.
The team finally received their invitation to celebrate at the White House, but head coach Dawn Staley has said they will not be going. “We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow’s event, but we will not be able to attend,” Staley told a local ABC station yesterday, “As I’ve been saying since our practices for this season started, all of our focus is on the season ahead. The only invitation we are thinking about is to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.”
The team may have been offended because back in September, Coach Staley publicly expressed concern that their team had still not received an invitation to the White House, even though they won their title back in Spring earlier this year. The White House claims other NCAA teams will attend a reception today, but has not provided a list of the teams.
“We haven’t gotten an invitation yet and that in itself speaks volumes,” she told the Associated Press back in September, “We won before those other teams won their championships. I don’t know what else has to happen.”
It seems as though this team couldn’t have made it even if they wanted to, because they received an invitation so last minute. That sounds exactly like the petty kind of move Trump would make to spite this coach because she spoke out against the administration in the Spring.