Most Capitals players say they'd attend White House, but Devante Smith-Pelly won't be going
The Caps haven't officially received a White House invitation, but at least one player isn't interested in going
During the Stanley Cup Final, Caps forward Devante Smith-Pelly, who is one of the NHL's few black players, said that he would likely skip a trip to the White House thanks to his distaste for Donald Trump and the things the president has said in the past. Nearly a week after winning the Cup, Smith-Pelly stood his ground on the matter.
Here's what Smith-Pelly's comments on Wednesday, courtesy of the Washington Post.
"I said what I said, and that is what I believe," Smith-Pelly said. "Again, I haven't thought about it any more than that. I stand by what I said. . . . They can do whatever they want, you know what I mean. When I said what I said, no one in the room said, 'Hey, maybe you should do this or maybe you should do that.' Everyone can do whatever they want. I will still love Ovi if he goes and the other guys if they go."
As Smith-Pelly recognized, there is a varying degree of interest in attending the White House among those in the Capitals locker room. A number of players, including captain Alex Ovechkin, expressed excitement about the prospect of going, while others noted that it's a sensitive time politically and would leave the decision up to the team.
But if the players decide that they'll go, it's safe to say that Smith-Pelly wont be joining them. Before the, Smith-Pelly offered his thoughts on Trump and the traditional champions trip to the White House.
"The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist," Canada's Postmedia quoted Smith-Pelly as saying Wednesday as the Capitals prepared for Game 5 against the Vegas Golden Knights. "Some of the things he's said are pretty gross. I'm not too into politics, so I don't know all his other views, but his rhetoric I definitely don't agree with. It hasn't come up here, but I think I already have my mind made up."
Trump has yet to officially extend an invite to the Capitals, but the president typically hosts major pro and college sports championship teams at the White House to honor their achievements. The Golden State Warriors wholly rejected the invitation last year, and the Philadelphia Eaglesby the presdient after a number of players declined.
The Pittsburgh Penguins , but this wouldn't be the first time that an NHL player has elected to skip the visit. Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas declined in 2012 due to his disagreements with the policies of Barack Obama.
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