Majority of Capitals Players Say They'd Accept Invitation to White House

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2018

Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, holds up the Stanley Cup trophy during the NHL hockey team's Stanley Cup victory celebration, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at the National Mall in Washington. The U.S. Capitol rises in the background. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

After several teams have ended up not visiting President Donald Trump to celebrate championships in their respective sports, a majority of Washington Capitals said Wednesday they would attend a ceremony at the White House, per Samantha Pell of the Washington Post.

Some are still pondering the choice, while Devante Smith-Pelly, who is black and Canadian, has stated he would not go.

Only six players on the Capitals roster are from the United States.

Smith-Pelly was especially vocal against Trump even before the Capitals clinched the Stanley Cup title with a Game 5 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. He scored the game-tying goal in the third period of the clinching game.

"The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist," he said of the United States president, per Michael Traikos of the National Post. "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."

However, it appears the majority of the Capitals would be willing to celebrate in the nation's capital.

"I know from past experiences it's a really cool experience," Brooks Orpik said of visiting the White House, referring to his 2009 trip with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This practice has become politically charged in recent weeks, with Trump canceling the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles trip because of a lack of interest from the team. The Minnesota Lynx never received an invite after their WNBA victory, while the Golden State Warriors are not expected to be invited following a second straight NBA championship.

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