Penguins Put "Politics Aside" In Accepting Invite To Celebrate Stanley Cup At White House
The Penguins have accepted an invitation to visit the White House this year after winning the Stanley Cup, and coach Mike Sullivan yesterday said the decision was made "as an organization." Sullivan: "We decided that we were going to accept the invitation. It's politics aside. Having said that, we also respect the fact that someone has a right to protest. We totally respect that, as well. That's how our organization looks at it and that's how we all feel" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/25). Penguins C Sidney Crosby said of the team's decision, "I support it. It’s a great honor for us to be invited there" (DKPITTSBURGHSPORTS.com, 9/24). Penguins F Bryan Rust: "As an organization, we relish the opportunity, and it's something we get to do because we are champions, and we're going to make the most of it" (CP, 9/24).
THINK AGAIN? YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski wrote under the header, "Penguins Wrong To Accept Trump’s Invitation With Feeble Statement." Wyshynski: "How does one look around the current landscape of the sports world and the U.S., and as the current standard-bearer of a lily-white professional sports league (93 percent of the players identify as white) decide this is the best course of action?" The Penguins, and thus the NHL, "participating in [Trump's] folly at a time when other professional leagues have decided to not to go through the motions with the single most destructive and divisive political figure I’ve seen in my lifetime is a tone-deaf disgrace" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/24). In Pittsburgh, Kevin Gorman asks, "Are the Penguins really that tone deaf, to publicly accept an invite to the White House while the rest of the sports world is up in arms over Trump's tweets?" (TRIBLIVE.com, 9/24). In Toronto, Shree Paradkar writes under the header, "Why The Pittsburgh Penguins Should Reconsider Meeting Trump." Paradkar: "This isn’t about the Penguins’ freedom to make their choice. Rather it’s what that choice says about them. There come moments in public life when certain decisions are plucked out and pinned on to an arc of history. When that happens to this moment, when the future gazes back, where does this team want to see itself placed?" (TORONTO STAR, 9/25).