Former Penguin calls team 'embarrassment' for planned White House visit
The outcry over the Steelers refusing to take the field for the national anthem Sunday at Soldier Field overshadowed a similar controversy with another of Pittsburgh's teams.
Shortly after President Donald Trump uninvited Steph Curry from the NBA champion Golden State Warriors from the White House, the Penguins accepted Trump's invite to travel to Washington to celebrate their Stanley Cup win.
That didn't sit well with former Penguins defenseman George Laraque, who played for about two years in Pittsburgh,
"I know hockey's more conservative than other sports, but this time it's just wrong,'' Laraque said. "I'm surprised the NHL didn't make a stand. To me, it's an embarrassment that they're going."
Laraque, born in Montreal to Haitian immigrant parents, appeared on CBC on Tuesday and spoke about the difference between Colin Kaepernick's original purpose for kneeling and the NFL's demonstration last weekend, as well as why the Penguins shouldn't go to the White House, according to Deadspin.
A partial transcript:
You know, it is sad, because the NHL is known as a conservative sport. And obviously, it's dominant white, so they could have really—it would have been big for them to present in an issue and talk about it, and not just kind of push it aside. You know, hockey, that wants to be more known and more popular—it looks bad when you really don't have an opinion on a subject. And when I hear the Pittsburgh Penguins saying that they're gonna go to the White House with the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup? You really want to go to the White House, take a picture with a man that is disrespecting women, that is disrespecting America, that his views have been criticized since taking office?
This is not just about taking the knee and the social injustice in America. The stance that the President is taking has been criticized all over the world. How could you say that with the Stanley Cup, it's gonna be an honor to go in the White House? It's like, you're endorsing the president. So to me, it doesn't make sense. And they look really bad. It makes the league look bad, it makes the team look bad. Maybe they did not think about it when they said that they would go, but if I was them I would rethink about this small thing because this makes them look bad.
Laraque also tweeted a similar sentiment:
I don't understand how the Penguins accepted the invitation from a man that disrespect womens, immigrants, and call athletes son of a bitch!
— Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque) September 26, 2017