President Donald Trump praised the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins on Twitter Sunday after the team announced it would still visit the White House for the ceremony celebrating its Stanley Cup victory from earlier this year.
The Penguins announcement came after Trump on Saturday uninvited Stephen Curry of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors from visiting the White House. Curry had said he was planning on not visiting the White House, and the Warriors subsequently announced they would not be visiting to celebrate their NBA championship following Trump’s comments aimed at Curry.
“Please to inform that the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL will be joining me at the White House for Ceremony,” Trump tweeted. “Great team!”
The Penguins announced earlier Sunday, amid Trump’s controversial comments aimed at NFL and NBA players, that they would still visit Trump.
“The Pittsburgh Penguins respect the institution of the Office of the President, and the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House,” the team said in a statement. “We attended White House ceremonies after previous championships – touring the historic building and visiting briefly with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama – and have accepted an invitation to attend again this year.
“Any agreement or disagreement with a president’s politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways,” the team continued. “However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit.”
Trump’s decision to uninvited Curry led to more backlash from across the sports world. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James called Trump a “bum” on Twitter for uninviting Curry, while former NBA star Kobe Bryant blasted the president in his own tweet.