In a maelstrom of NFL national anthems protest directed at President Donald Trump, and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors publicly feuding with Trump over a visit that won’t happen, this is certainly different.
While the NFL and NBA are zigging, the NHL seems to be zagging.
The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will visit the White House for a champions visit, according to a team statement released Sunday.
The Penguins made it simple, with the justification that they “respect the institution of the Office of the President.”
“Any agreement or disagreement with a president’s politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways. However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit,” the statement read.
The Penguins also expressed respect for “the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House.”
Interestingly enough, the Penguins truly have seemed impartial when it comes to White House visits. Certain players may have chosen not to go, but as a team, they have always been consistent in their statement.
And the Penguins have certainly had plenty of opportunities to visit.
They’ve won five Stanley Cups since the early 1990s. They’ve visited the White House during the presidencies of both George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama. And now Donald Trump.
While the Penguins have accepted the invite, there has been no official date set yet. With the NBA champions foregoing a visit this year, the Penguins could visit earlier than normal.
The Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in six games to win last season’s Stanley Cup.
The Penguins make their first trip of the season to Washington to play the Capitals on Oct. 11.
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