In an apparently coincidental bit of timing, a University of North Carolina spokesman announced Saturday afternoon that the national champion Tar Heels men’s basketball team would not be visiting the White House.
With the strange battle between Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and President Donald Trump raging on, UNC basketball spokesman Steve Kirschner was sure to differentiate the Tar Heels’ decision from Curry’s politically motivated comments.
“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” Kirschner told The Charlotte Observer.
“We tried about eight or nine dates and … they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so — we would have liked to have gone, but not going,” he said.
As if to further emphasize that political motivations were not at the root of the decision, Kirschner told ESPN: “We wouldn’t have been working on a date if coach [Roy] Williams and the players didn’t want to go.”
Despite UNC’s insistence to the contrary, Trump critics tied the announcement to the Warriors situation and celebrated what they perceived as another slight against the White House.
UNC isn’t coming to the white house and neither are the warriors great job 45 always sticking your foot in your mouth #resist
— Tederra johnson (@TederraJohnson) September 23, 2017
I couldn’t be more proud of my boys in blue.
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) September 23, 2017
News: NCAA champs North Carolina refuse Trump invitation. School claims they just ‘couldn’t find a date that worked’ https://t.co/dXYVsJnW5L
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 23, 2017
Never one to miss out on a chance to grab some attention, LeBron James tweeted an attack on Trump for rescinding Curry’s White House invitation.
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!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
It remains to be seen whether professional athletes and Hollywood will ever realize that every time they attack President Trump they strengthen his support among his anti-establishment base.
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