The list is now up to three.
The University of Virginia won the NCAA men’s basketball championship with a stunning victory over Texas Tech University. Then the White House invited the Cavaliers to be feted by Donald Trump.
The Cavs’ response? No can do, Mr. President.
They now join the University of North Carolina and Villanova University in declining to take part in what most of us thought was a part of D.C. normalcy. Teams win national championships, then travel to the nation’s capital to be honored by the president of the United States.
That was until Donald Trump became president of the United States. Now we find the president politicizing these events, criticizing pro football players for kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. He infuriates players, who then balk at coming to the White House. The Golden State Warriors this past year won the NBA title, chafed at going to the White House and then the president disinvited them.
Now the third straight men’s college basketball team has said “no thanks” to the White House, citing what school officials called “scheduling conflicts.” Sure thing, man.
When you think about it, what we’re seeing is an ongoing trend involving this president.
Donald and Melania Trump haven’t attended a Kennedy Center Honors event that pays tribute to artists who contribute to the world’s culture. The president refuses to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, I presume because of his antipathy toward the “enemy of the American people.”
These once-pro forma events have become news in and of themselves because of the president’s clumsy relationships with national institutions.
So the drama continues.
The UVA Cavaliers won’t break bread with the president. I fully expect Donald Trump to say something inappropriate — if not downright stupid — in response to the NCAA men’s champs’ decision to stay away.