The Kansas City Chiefs won’t let hyper-charged politics cloud their Super Bowl victory.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said it would be “quite an honor” to visit the White House after the Chiefs’ comeback victory in Sunday night’s Super Bowl, but he would be waiting to hear from Trump.
Traditionally, athletic champions are honored with a visit to the White House but the custom has been overcast by political controversy in the Trump era — making Reid’s announcement somewhat of a pleasant surprise.
Super Bowl champs want to visit WH
24-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to their first championship since 1970 after a comeback in the fourth quarter on Sunday. The Chiefs turned a 10-point deficit around to finish out the game with a 31-20 victory against the San Francisco 49ers.
The historic win puts the Chiefs on the path to the White House, which historically has invited victorious professional and college athletes to meet the president. While politics have sometimes interfered with custom, Reid, who has coached the chiefs since 2013, said he would not pass on the opportunity.
“I haven’t thought about [an invitation] … I mean, I’ll be there. So, if they’re inviting us, I’ll be here. … It’s quite an honor.”
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill also said that it “would be great to go to the White House,” noting that he’s never been to the nation’s capital. But defensive end Frank Clark was ambivalent about the idea, saying that there’s “a lot of stuff going on surrounding the White House” and “a lot of mixed emotions about stuff going on there.”
Politics tests athletic tradition
Some star athletes have accused President Trump of being a “racist,” especially after he waded into the kneeling controversy sparked by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The controversy was in the air at Sunday’s game when Jay-Z and Beyoncé were spotted sitting during the national anthem.
In 2018, Trump withdrew an invitation to the Philadelphia Eagles after several players said they planned to decline any post-Super Bowl invite. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors also snubbed the president after both of their recent championship wins, Breitbart notes.
The Washington Nationals visited Trump after their World Series victory last year, although some players didn’t show up. Trump recently welcomed the LSU Tigers after their college football championship, a year after he hosted a fast-food feast for the Clemson Tigers that went viral.
Trump slammed for congratulating Chiefs
Trump congratulated the Chiefs on their big victory Sunday, but he was criticized for initially tweeting that they were from the state of Kansas. Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri.
However, it looks like Twitter outrage won’t play into this team’s decision-making.