"I don't respect who's in office right now."
Kevin Durant has no intentions of making a visit to the White House to meet President Trump if the NBA champion Golden State Warriors are invited.
Durant spoke to ESPN today in his hometown of Seat Pleasant Maryland, during "Kevin Durant Day," and said he simply "doesn't respect who's in office right now.
Speaking about the potential White House visit, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP said, per ESPN,
"Nah, I won't do that," said Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP. "I don't respect who's in office right now."
He further explained his reasoning to skip the potential visit, and alluded to the fact that some of his teammates will do the same.
"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that," said Durant. "That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."
Earlier today when a TMZ reporter asked Durant about NBA players like LeBron and Dwyane Wade being vocal about their displeasure with President Trump in wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, KD responded,
"Hell yeah, hell yeah. That's how it's supposed to be. We don't fuck with him."
In speaking with ESPN, Durant further discussed how Trump has played a role in the rise of racial tension in the U.S. and the public rise of white supremacists. KD says we, as a country, have taken a turn for the worse since Obama left office and Trump was elected, and we won't see any progress until we get him out.
"He's definitely driving it," Durant said. "I feel ever since he's got into office, or since he ran for the presidency, our country has been so divided and it's not a coincidence. When [Barack] Obama was in office, things were looking up. We had so much hope in our communities where I come from because we had a black president, and that was a first.
"So to see that and to be where we are now, it just felt like we took a turn for the worse, man. It all comes from who is in the administration. It comes from the top. Leadership trickles down to the rest of us. So, you know, if we have someone in office that doesn't care about all people, then we won't go anywhere as a country. In my opinion, until we get him out of here, we won't see any progress."
In regards to Charlottesville and the importance of athletes using their platform to create change, KD says more athletes and people of influence need to speak out, just as Colin Kaepernick, LeBron, Carmelo, Chris Paul and Dwyande Wade have.
He told ESPN,
"I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts," Durant said. "I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.
"I'm representing a lot of people. As far as what's going on in our country, for one as an athlete, you have to commend Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James,Carmelo Anthony, CP3 [Chris Paul] [and] Dwyane Wade for starting that conversation last year. Russell Westbrook also said something in his speech. A lot guys with platforms have drove the conversation in a good direction. And what's going on in Charlottesville, that was unfathomable."
"For us to move forward, we need more athletes and people of power and influence to come out and speak," Durant said. "It's great to see a lot of athletes coming together and trying to direct a positive path for a lot of kids and a lot of people in this country who look up to us.
You can read Durant's full comments right here.
Kevin Durant says he won't visit the White House if invited because he doesn't "respect who's in office right now." https://t.co/wsAinfh2j4— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 17, 2017