- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Washington Capitals might soon win the Stanley Cup and receive an invitation to meet President Trump. One player already has decided if he’ll accept the invite.

Forward Devante Smith-Pelly, one of two black players on the Capitals, said Wednesday that some of Trump’s remarks are “racist,” “sexist” and “gross.”

The end of Smith-Pelly’s answer indicates that he would decline an invitation to go to the White House.

Trump revoked the Philadelphia Eagles’ invitation the day before the Super Bowl champions were scheduled to visit the White House earlier this week. The incident has led to another round of athletes criticizing the president’s stance. Trump is of the opinion that players who kneel during the national anthem in silent protest of police brutality are being unpatriotic and should stand and salute the flag.

LeBron James and Steph Curry, the superstars of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors currently battling it out in the NBA Finals, said earlier this week that neither of their teams would accept an invitation to the White House. Trump uninvited the Warriors last year when Curry said he didn’t want to attend.

Smith-Pelly, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, was the target of a racist chant in a February game against the Blackhawks in Chicago. He’s put that behind him and become a clutch scorer in the playoffs; he has scored six postseason goals, including two in the Stanley Cup Final, after scoring just seven in the whole regular season.

Other Capitals players have yet to comment on their desire to visit the White House if they win the Cup. Defenseman Madison Bowey, who hasn’t dressed for a game since Feb. 20, is the Capitals’ other black player and also hails from Canada.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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