Trump sticks to hockey in honouring Cup champion Penguins

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The team will make the annual trip reserved for the NHL's Stanley Cup winners for a second straight year, but his time they'll be hosted by President Donald Trump.

The visit comes as Trump slams the NFL over players kneeling during the National Anthem and the NBA after members of the champion Golden State Warriors told reporters they weren't interested in the traditional visit to the White House.

The Pens have taken some heat for their decision to accept the invite.

"From my side of things, there's absolutely no politics involved", Sidney Crosby, the captain of the Stanley Cup Penguins, said Monday. Instead, it's about tradition.

"We've stated clearly from the get-go that our visit to the White House is not political", Sullivan said.

After greeting a few team personnel, Trump approached the podium to declare: "By the way, everybody wanted to be here today".


Since Mr Trump's stunning election win in November a year ago, the two leaders have spoken to each other on at least three occasions.

Hours after tweeting that the tax code should be changed to punish National Football League teams over the anthem issue, Trump joked that Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle should help him renegotiate NAFTA but largely avoided any talk about other sports. Great. Great job. What a job you've done.

Trump's most fiery comments about sports protests came during a rally in Alabama in September.

"It's been an honor to have them all here", Trump said. "He's going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired.' And that owner, they don't know it (but) they'll be the most popular person in this country".

Just on Tuesday morning, Trump threatened to target the NFL's tax status if players don't stand for the national anthem. "If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!"

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