For decades, the idea of professional and college sports teams visiting the White House to celebrate their respective world or national championships with the President of the United States was a foregone conclusion.
It was a tradition rarely ever questioned for any reason, much less, a political one.
That was, of course, until the President became Donald Trump, and anyone in the world of sports even remotely left of center began to push the idea of athletes boycotting White House visits simply because they disagree with the President on politics.
In fact, the Golden State Warriors made such a big deal about their desire to not visit the Trump White House, with star players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and their head coach Steve Kerr continuously attacking the President with the same talking points one would expect from San Fransisco Liberals like Nancy Pelosi, the President personally disinvited the entire franchise.
But while professional sports teams have led the charge against visiting the Trump White House, college football’s national champions have continued to visit the President without an ill word uttered.
Take the 2018 National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide for example.
On Tuesday, head coach Nick Saban – a guy awesome enough to place several calls to perspective recruits from inside the White House – and the Crimson Tide rolled into Washington, D.C. to celebrate their latest national championship with President Trump.
Apparently, prior to the visit, Coach Saban does what he does best – he laid out a plan for how his team was to handle the White House visit.
“Coach Saban addressed it and just said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this regardless of your political thoughts,” Alabama center Ross Pierschbacher said. “‘We’re going, just to celebrate this team. It’s an honor. And just to be able to say that you’ve gone to the White House is something that you can cherish forever.’ So that was basically the extent of that.”
And the players followed their coach’s lead.
“It’s an incredible honor for us to be invited to the White House,”Alabama running back Damien Harris said. “It’s something that comes with being national champions, so we’re definitely thankful for the opportunity.”
But while the stark difference between the behavior of 18-22 year old college kids and their grown, middle-aged professional counterparts is fascinating and worth noting, it was something that actually happened at the White House celebration that still has people talking.
According to a Tweet from WBRC News reporter Christina Chambers out of Birmingham, an inspiring moment occurred when the event concluded, as Alabama senior punter J.K. Scott and some of his teammates and coaches approached President Trump to ask if they could pray for the President and his staff.
What a cool moment! .@AlabamaFTBL JK Scott asked @POTUS if he could pray for him and his staff. Video below shows President Trump and Bama players praying after the Tide’s @WhiteHouse visit! @WBRCnews @BarrettSallee pic.twitter.com/tE4hj4k38l
— ChristinaWBRC (@ChristinaWBRC) April 10, 2018
President Trump also took to Twitter after the event to express what a “great honor” it was to host the national champs.
Today, it was my great honor to welcome the 2017 NCAA Football National Champion, Alabama Crimson Tide – to the White House. Congratulations! #RollTidehttps://t.co/hF5EZHlSVS pic.twitter.com/JfGue4IIs1
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2018
Saban, a six-time college football national champion head coach, also took time to express his appreciation for the White House visit and the President himself.
“You know, not many people get invited to the White House, so not many people get invited to see the president and meet the president,” Saban said. “So this is a special day for our team. A team that is being honored here because of their achievements in terms of winning the college football national championship, which makes me very proud.”
“A special thanks to our president to invite us here and make this a special day for us,” Saban continued. “President Trump, thank you so much.”
That’s the definition of class.