UVA basketball team rejects White House invitation amid Dem-backed petition

  • The University of Virginia Men's basketball team announced Friday that it will decline an invitation to the White House.
  • The announcement came amid a petition calling on the university to do so.
  • The petition was supported by the College Democrats.

The University of Virginia men's basketball team announced Friday that will not accept an invitation to visit the White House. The announcement came amid a petition calling on the 2019 NCAA mens basketball champions to boycott visiting the president . 

"We have received inquiries about a visit to the White House. With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together. We would have to respectfully decline an invitation," UVA mens basketball Coach Tony Bennett said via the team's Twitter account. 

“the University Democrats at UVA agree that the UVA basketball team should reject an invitation, should it be extended, to visit the White House..."   


[RELATED: UVA profs quit program over hiring of former Trump official]

A petition, signed more than 15,000 times, had called for the University of Virginia’s men’s basketball team to decline a White House invitation for the team’s recent national championship victory. The petition was started by UVA alumna Lacey Kohlmoos, who urged people to sign the petition to celebrate the national championship “without hate.” 

In the petition, Kohlmoos blames President Trump for a rise in “hate crimes” and “racial tension” and wrote that the UVA basketball team should also skip a potential White House invitation to protest “Trump and his support of white supremacy.” Kohlmoos also referenced the 2017 Charlottesville riot and wrote that by accepting an invitation, the men’s basketball team would “be condoning the president's reprehensible and divisive behavior.”

The petition had gained the support of the UVA College Democrats, which told Campus Reform, “the University Democrats at UVA agree that the UVA basketball team should reject an invitation, should it be extended, to visit the White House. Especially in light of the hateful events that have occurred in Charlottesville in the last two years, the basketball team should take a stand against President Trump and the hateful rhetoric and policies that he stands for.”

[RELATED: UVA students triggered by hiring of former Trump official]

UVA College Republicans President Robert Andrews told Campus Reform called Kohlmoos’ petition “petty politicization."

“Rather than pontificate about what the team should do, we should respect the players' individual decisions whether or not to attend a White House ceremony and be proud of them regardless,” Andrews said. “Such a decision is up to players alone and no one has a right to interject their opinion otherwise. This Virginia basketball team has brought tremendous joy and unity to the UVA community and that's the only thing students, faculty, alumni, and fans should be thinking about.”

Campus Reform reached out to UVA for comment on the petition but received no response in time for publication.

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Eduardo Neret
Eduardo Neret | Digital Reporter

Eduardo Neret is a digital reporter for Campus Reform. Prior to taking on his current position, Eduardo served as the Senior Florida Correspondent for Campus Reform and founded a conservative web publication where he hosted a series of interviews with notable conservative commentators and public figures. Eduardo’s work has appeared on the Fox News Channel, FoxNews.com, The Washington Examiner, Daily Caller, The Drudge Report, The Blaze, and The Daily Wire. He most recently served as a contributor to the Red Alert Politics section of The Washington Examiner. In addition to his independent journalism, Neret also previously worked at the Department of Justice and the Fox News Channel. He has appeared on numerous radio programs and NewsMaxTV to discuss his work and comment on relevant political issues.

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