Washington is known nationally for its politics, and the division that creates. But the Capitals’ championship parade put focus on the local residents, and a city united by its team’s title run.
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Forward Brett Connolly, a Canadian, has indicated he will be the second member of the Washington Capitals to decline an invitation to the White House if the team is invited to celebrate their Stanley Cup championship.
“For me, I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Connolly said at BioSteel Camp in Toronto, according to Sportsnet.ca. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think there’ll be a few guys not going, too. Like I said, it has nothing to do with politics. It’s about what’s right and wrong. And we’ll leave it at that.”
Forward Devante Smith-Pelly, one of the NHL’s few black players, had previously said he would not attend if the Capitals were invited, calling Trump’s comments “straight-up racist and sexist.”
The 2017 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins all attended the trip last year, though Trump canceled it for the Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles and uninvited the 2017 champion Golden State Warriors after several said they wouldn’t go anyway.
Protesting this event didn’t start in the Trump White House. In 2012, Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas chose to skip the event when Barack Obama was in office. He said he didn’t vote for Obama and disagreed with him on almost every social and economic issue.
The Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights in five games to capture their first Stanley Cup.