Winners in various sports have visited the White House since the 1920s, as a symbol that the building is the home of the people, regardless of who the president is. The love of sport is above politics and it unites Americans. That changed with Donald Trump in the White House.
The President has been visited by no fewer than five teams, including winners of the Superbowl New England Patriots. But many teams say no to thank you, or have not been invited by the incumbent president. The most recent addition was WNBA’s Seattle Storm, who visited the White House in 2010 but this year they said they didn’t want to attend.
“Don’t blame them.”
Kyle Royce and a group of co-workers coach American football at DeWitt Park, New York. They’ve tracked down the feud between the president of the United States and some of America’s biggest sports stars.
It’s a very diverse group, with many African Americans. Kyle Royce tells SVT that Trump isn’t advocating for them, so I don’t blame them if they don’t want to go.
If your team were to win something and were invited to the White House, would you go?
– I’m not going. I don’t like him as a person. I do not like what it represents. I don’t want to do anything with Donald Trump, says Kyle.
– The majority of my team won’t go. Ekaterina Enokidze, who also trains in the park, says we have an interest in politics and strong opinions.
– If I go there, I will feel that I support his agenda and policies and I do not want to be associated with it.
Kabernick’s protest is controversial
New York is the home of Donald Trump. But it is also one of the places in the United States where it is not very popular. In other parts of the United States, sports star statements against Trump have sparked outrage.
The protest that the then National Hockey Association player, Colin Kaepernick, began kneeling during the pre-match national anthem is seen as an insult to the flag and disrespect for the country’s military. It was the beginning of a nearly two-year conflict between President Trump and the American sports world.
His protest was about racism and social injustice and then turned into something completely different, says Kyle.
Colin Kaepernick did not get a new contract. He hasn’t played in a year. Instead, he’s now a model for a clothing company where his face is seen on a billboard in Times Square with the text: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
– I love that! Now a lot of them have a role model in Colin Kaepernick and that’s a good thing, Kyle Royce tells SVT.
This is a very difficult question. That shows stats as well. 53% of Americans think it is inappropriate to kneel on their knees while the US national anthem is being played.
53% of the population matters. These are old white men. They are Republican and tend to vote. In Sweden, we have an 87% turnout, but in the United States it is estimated that 40% will go to the polls when the midterm elections are due. So Trump is targeting the right audience.