WASHINGTON -- WNBA champion Seattle Storm has no interest in making a White House visit if US President Donald Trump does invite them, veteran point guard Sue Bird said.
Bird sparked the Storm to their third title in her 16 seasons with the club, sweeping Washington in the best-of-five final, but says her squad would skip the once-traditional White House visit if an invitation did come their way.
"It has come up," Bird told the Seattle Times. "At this point, it doesn't even really need to be discussed."
Trump famously withdrew an invitation to NBA champion Golden State last year after criticism from Stephen Curry while Curry, teammate Kevin Durant and then-Cleveland star LeBron James said even before the NBA Finals ended that the winner wouldn't want to go to the White House.
Trump canceled a White House visit by the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles after several players criticized him and vowed to stay away.
The Minnesota Lynx didn't receive an invitation from Trump after winning last year's WNBA crown.
"We paid attention to what happened with Minnesota not getting invited. Everyone knew when everything happened with Steph Curry and LeBron on social media, all that stuff," Bird said. "We all pay attention and we watch."
As Bird told Seattle's KING-TV: "I'm sure (Trump) is going to say we're not invited anyway, so it all works out well."
Bird, 37, visited the White House with the University of Connecticut after a US college crown and again to see Barack Obama with the Storm after a 2010 WNBA crown.
"It's really disappointing. It was before something very special," Bird said. "There was excitement when I met President Obama and there was this aura. It was amazing.
"Now that's not the case. No one wants to go anymore. It's disappointing, because it was something most athletes looked forward to."
© Agence France-Presse
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