Remember when we were younger, after teams would win a championship, they would be caught on television saying, “We’re going to Disney World!” I think many teams these days would prefer that than having to announce if they are going to the White House or not.
The Washington Capitals, 2018 Stanley Cup winners, will go to the White House today to meet with the sitting president, but one of their major stars, Vezina Trophy winning goalie Braden Holtby, won’t be showing up.
No, it’s not because he dislikes fast food, but it’s political. Oh no! A sports star being political!
Holtby is a long-time advocate for LGBTQ equality, addressed the decision Friday after the team’s morning skate.
The Capitals are celebrating Hockey Is For Everyone (HIFE) in February and for the third straight year, Caps goaltender Braden Holtby will be serving as the HIFE ambassador.
Holtby supports the LGBTQ community and in September, Holtby was invited to be a speaker at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, where he shared remarks on the importance of equality. – NHL.com
“It’s one of those things that we have to think about, but for me, I gotta stay true to my values and I’m going to respectfully decline the offer,” he said. – FTW.usatoday.com
We mentioned Holtby back in 2017 when he first agreed to be a part of the “Hockey is for Everyone” campaign (Hello NHL – LGBTQ Ambassadors! Game On!)
Holtby had not been just a name on a list. He’s marched in DC Pride, didn’t just wrap his hockey stick in “Pride Tape” on the nights allocated, but he’s also spoke publicly about his support for our community during a Human Rights Campaign dinner last year.
HOLTBY HOLTBY HOLTBY!!! pic.twitter.com/sD5JPHHdCV
— Puck Buddys (@PuckBuddys) June 11, 2016
“My family and myself, we believe in a world where humans are treated with respect regardless of your stature, what you’re born into. … You’re asked to choose what side you’re on, and I think it’s pretty clear what side I’m on,” he told The Washington Post.
On the move at the @CapitalPrideDC Parade with @Holts170 and @MSE! #RockTheRainbow #MakeMagicHappen pic.twitter.com/pRtuImzXtx
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 11, 2016
The long standing tradition of championship teams visiting the White House has become far more of a political statement than in previous years due to the controversies surrounding the Trump administration. The Philadelphia Eagles and Golden State Warriors both did not make White House visits for their 2018 championships.
Of course he is not the only athlete to not go to the White House in celebration. Entire teams have not gone (Philadelphia Eagles, Golden State Warriors – hi Obama!), but this avoidance of the White House speaks up for our community, the respect Holtby has for equality and the lack of respect from the current occupant of the office of president.
“For me, it’s just a personal thing. I believe in what I believe in and in order to stick to those values I have to do what I feel is right,” Holtby said.