According to the Washington Post, most members of the Stanley Cup-champion Washington Capitals would accept a White House invite if one were extended by President Donald Trump.
“We all have our opinions on it; it’s a very sensitive issue,” said defenseman Brooks Orpik, one of six Americans on the Capitals’ roster. “It’s just kind of the way things are going these days. If you don’t have the same belief as somebody else then automatically they think you’re wrong and they take it personally, which politics isn’t supposed to be that way. You’re allowed to have disagreement, but my opinion is that you’re supposed to respect the other person’s decision.”
Capitals coach Barry Trotz also weighed in:
“I have my opinion on that which is part of the process of being a championship team, and other people have different opinions, so I respect both,” Trotz said. “I haven’t talked to the guys one way or the other. We haven’t had any official team meetings, but I respect both sides, really I do. Whatever the group decides, we will do it. I don’t know if it will be a full group, a half group, or no group, I have no idea. I think most guys have the tradition part down.”
I will not begin to speculate on why their comments about the White House today are in stark contrast to those expressed by the Philadelphia Eagles, the South Carolina women’s basketball team and basically the entire NBA, for I have no way of knowing what makes them and their feelings so different. One can only wonder.
Instead, here’s a picture of the team:
Here’s another one:
Here’s one of some of the fans during their parade:
That said, the decision to visit the White House isn’t a unanimous one. Forward Devante Smith-Pelly has said that he would not go:
“The things that [Trump] spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” Smith-Pelly told a reporter from Canada’s Postmedia. “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.”
Again, I have no way of knowing what separates Smith-Pelly from his teammates and why they seem to be fine with going and he’s not.
Since there’s no room for theorizing, let’s just look at a picture of Devante Smith-Pelly: