Andre Iguodala on skipping Trump White House visit

Megan Rapinoe and other members of the champion U.S. Women’s National Team have vowed to skip a traditional visit with President Donald Trump at the White House after their World Cup win.

In a new interview, former Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala, whose team did not visit Trump after either of two NBA championships won during his presidency, explained why the decision to forgo a White House visit is “quite simple.”

“We don't want to feel like we’re supporting something that we don't believe in,” Iguodala, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, says of himself and his former Warriors teammates. “We have certain beliefs.”

“If it's something that we feel like we're not aligned with, or we feel like we can't help or try to change any type of way, we try to stay away from it,” he adds.

Like members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, the Warriors indicated they would not visit Trump at the White House prior to winning titles in 2017 and 2018. After both championships, Trump rescinded invitations before the team could formally decline. Last year, NBA superstar Lebron James responded to the move by Trump, tweeting, “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

Weeks before winning the World Cup, Rapinoe told Eight by Eight Magazine that she would not visit Trump at the White House if the team were to take home the title. In a series of tweets last week, Trump responded to her remarks.

“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” he said. “Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!​”

“Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!​” Trump added.

After the team won the World Cup championship on Sunday, Rapoinoe reiterated her commitment to skip the visit. "I don't think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we've worked so hard to build and the things that we fight for and the way that we live our life,” she told Anderson Cooper. “I don't think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration."

After a congratulatory tweet to the team, Trump told reporters on Sunday that he is considering whether to invite them to the White House.

‘This is really not about us’

In contrast, Iguodala described his and the Warriors’ choice in less confrontational terms. “It's not that we're against someone else's beliefs, but it's just something we don't believe in,” he says.

Iguodala made the comments to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a conversation that airs on Yahoo Finance in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

In the interview, Iguodala elaborated further on his and his teammates’ choice to skip the White House visit.

“This is really not about us,” he says. “It's about others and how they've been affected throughout this whole process...especially when it affects others who come from the same environments that we grew up in.”

Iguodala, who grew up in Springfield, Illinois in the 1980s, describes the segregation of his hometown in a recently released memoir, “The Sixth Man.”

“From the perspective of early childhood, the black world was the only world there was,” he writes. “Officially, Springfield is not a segregated town, but officialities don’t matter in race. Springfield is segregated.”

Throughout his career, Iguodala has spoken out on racial issues faced by professional athletes. Most controversially, in 2017, Iguodala responded to a question about coach Steve Kerr’s choice to sit him out of a game, saying “I do what master say.” Iguodala was fined $10,000 by the NBA for the comment, which he later clarified.

In the memoir, Iguodala describes what he considers the expectation that athletes remain silent about racial and political issues.

“We’re supposed to take the money and be quiet,” he writes. “We’re supposed to be grateful that we’ve been given an opportunity to have wealth, to send our kids to private schools. And the exchange is that we aren’t supposed to say anything about anyone."

12 PHOTOS
Golden State Warriors celebrate championship with parade
See Gallery
Golden State Warriors celebrate championship with parade
Jun 12, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Nick Young (middle) and center JaVale McGee (right) celebrate during the championship parade in downtown Oakland. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with the championship trophy during the Golden State Warriors Victory Parade on June 12, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 to win the 2018 NBA Finals. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with the championship trophy during the Golden State Warriors Victory Parade on June 12, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 to win the 2018 NBA Finals. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with the championship trophy during the Golden State Warriors Victory Parade on June 12, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 to win the 2018 NBA Finals. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jun 12, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) rides with a cigar in his mouth during the championship parade in downtown Oakland. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and wife Ayesha react during the championship parade in downtown Oakland. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Nick Young (6) high fives fans with a cigar in his mouth during the championship parade in downtown Oakland. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee (1) takes a selfie with fans during the championship parade in downtown Oakland. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Mayor Libby Schaaf sporting two Championship rings at the Golden State Warriors championship parade on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (David DeBolt/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Spencer Phillips, a 23-year-old firefighting student from Los Altos, was ready to watch the parade from a colorful hammock he?d strung between a tree and a traffic sign near Franklin Street. ?It?s so comfy,? said Phillips, who was wearing long blue-and-yellow Warriors socks. ?Last year I was in the heat at the finish line. This year I was smarter.? (Casey Tolan/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Willie Jones, 65, of Oakland, found a shady grassy area near the corner of Oak and 13th Street to lay out his Warriors blanket where he and his dog Samantha could watch the very end of the Golden State Warriors championship parade on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. He attended one of the playoff games against the Houston Rockets this year and is just 'enjoying the third championship' in four years. (Joseph Geha/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Fans wait on Broadway during the Golden State Warriors championship parade in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.