WASHINGTON — Don’t feed the trolls.
It’s a phrase that’s been in the American vernacular since online commenting became a fixture in our culture. But what does one do when a troll is in the Oval Office?
The Golden State Warriors are in the nation’s capital for the first time since winning the 2017 NBA Finals. But they won’t be visiting the White House.
And they don’t care to talk about it, either.
“It’s kind of beating a dead horse at this point,” Stephen Curry said Monday in New York. “We’re excited to have an opportunity to do what we’re going to do [Tuesday] as a team. But other than that, it’s a business trip, and we’re excited to keep the road trip going.
“That’s really all it’s about.”
The opportunity Curry is referring to is a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture with children from Prince George’s County, the home of Kevin Durant.
The Warriors didn’t want to share their exact plans. Head coach Steve Kerr refused to elaborate when asked last week, saying it was the players’ event and their idea. So it was up to them if they wanted to share. Eventually, Klay Thompson let it slip after Golden State’s win over the Knicks.
But, to a man, the Warriors refused to be baited into addressing president Donald Trump, who, after watching an episode of “Fox & Friends” that addressed Curry in September, tweeted (of course) that he was rescinding an invitation to the reigning champs. Never mind that several players had already said they wouldn’t go and that no offer was extended in the first place.
The storyline dominated the team’s preseason news cycle, and it appears they aren’t interested in repeating their mistake of allowing the president to suck the air out of the room again.
“The White House is a great honor, but there are some other circumstances that we felt uncomfortable going,” Thompson said. “We’re not going to politicize anything.”
The Warriors will no doubt make an impact on the children they visit. Durant said he hoped to show them there were ways to rise from poverty and to give them a moment they’ll never forget.
Compare that to a visit with the president — which would’ve inevitably turned into one of the bizarre, self-aggrandizing quasi-comedy routines he does every time he gets behind a microphone — and it’s easy to see the Dubs are doing exactly what they should.
If Trump has taught us anything, it’s that norms don’t matter as much as we once thought. And that positions shouldn’t be lent dignity just because of what they once were. It’s encouraging that teams like the Warriors (and several members of the Philadelphia Eagles) are doing what is right by refusing to acquiesce to the president.
(If only taking the high road worked as well for the Democrats in 2016.)
As of Tuesday afternoon, Trump had yet to address the Warriors. Sure, he has more pressing matters to address, but that’s never stopped him in the past.
And if Golden State can escape D.C. without having to address whatever childish projection the president’s brain produces, then they accomplished another goal as an organization.
Remember, do not — under any circumstances — feed the trolls.