The team had no interest in Trump's long-delayed invitation.
Thanks, but no thanks.
That was the message the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team sent to the White House after the NCAA championship squad’s long-delayed invitation finally arrived.
The Gamecocks aren’t interested in meeting with Donald Trump.
"We did hear from the White House about attending tomorrow’s event, but we will not be able to attend," head coach Dawn Staley told reporters.
Hosting sports champions at the White House used to be one of the simplest events any president had to oversee. But Trump has still managed to screw it up, with his months-long denigration of the NFL and its roster of majority black athletes for their silent sideline protests of systemic racial injustice.
In one of Trump’s petulant Twitter tantrums back in September, he publicly withdrew a White House invitation to Steph Curry of the NBA champs Golden State Warriors:
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers responded by pointing out that Curry had already said he wasn't going and calling Trump out as a "bum."
"Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!" James declared.
Back in April, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots did visit the White House, but the team’s star quarterback, Tom Brady, was conspicuously absent.
The Gamecocks knocked off Mississippi State back in March to win the women's hoops crown, the first in the program's history. But it soon became clear that one of the traditional celebrations wasn’t going to happen right away — the team didn’t receive an expected invite from the White House.
The snub represented a "slap in the face," said Vanderbilt women’s basketball coach Stephanie White in October, when the South Carolina team still hadn’t heard about a possible Washington, D.C. visit.
North Carolina, the reigning NCAA men's basketball champion, will also not visit the White House this season. The team claimed it offered White House schedulers eight or nine dates for a possible visit, but none of them worked out.
Trump's odiousness and petulant behavior is ruining even the most basic and previously uncontroversial parts of being president.