Penguins president: Team ‘would never turn down’ an invite to White House
Pittsburgh Penguins president David Morehouse issued a statement this week saying the organization “would never turn down” an invite to the White House should one be extended.
The Penguins, winners of back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals, obviously are expected to be invited to the White House, as is the custom for championship teams. But given the contentious current political climate — not to mention the controversy surrounding whether teams would in fact accept an invite from President Donald Trump, Morehouse clearly felt compelled to provide clarification.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins would never turn down a visit to the White House and, if invited, we would go as a team,” Morehouse’s statement read, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We respect the Office of the Presidency of the United States and what it stands for. Any opposition or disagreement with a president’s policies, or agenda, can be expressed in other ways.”
Morehouse’s statement indicates the Penguins would attend an potential White House visit “as a team,” but that does not necessarily mean players would be prohibited from opting out, which was the case when the New England Patriots traveled to the White House after winning Super Bowl LI.
In fact, several prominent Patriots players made their opinions of the current administration quite clear when explaining why. Trump later blasted seemingly erroneous reporting regarding the turnout by the Patriots when the team paid the customary championship visit.
The issue of whether teams would visit the White House during the Trump presidency has been a topic of discussion — and contention — in the world of sports since he was elected. The Chicago Cubs actually moved up their White House visit after winning the World Series so they could do so when Barack Obama was still in office.
The Golden State Warriors, who just secured a second NBA title in three years with a victory Monday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, unanimously voted against attending a potential White House ceremony if an invite was extended, per several reports. A later statement from the team, however, indicated no decision has been made at this time.