The president hailed the team’s success on the court while also praising their activism. He recalled the team’s decision to sit out Game 5 of the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Biden said the team “took a stand for justice and peace” in wake of the shooting.
“You got people engaged,” the president said. “It really mattered. I remember calling your coach. You got people engaged in the vote, in the political process. You encouraged fans to get vaccinated. I just want to thank you.
“Through it all, one thing remains constant — the values of the game and the sport: teamwork, hard work, and respect. And the belief that we can strengthen the bonds that bring us together and stand for something bigger than ourselves,” Biden said.
In 2017 and 2018, the Golden State Warriors declined to visit the White House with star Steph Curry saying his team didn’t agree with former President Trump’s stances on several hot button issues.
The 2019 champion Toronto Raptors also declined, citing political differences with Trump. Last year, the Los Angeles Lakers did not visit the White House because of COVID-19.
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