And in a subsequent interview with The New York Times, he warned that the president's rhetoric could be driving the US toward "World War III".
"From my side of things, there's absolutely no politics involved", Crosby said Monday. "Hopefully it stays that way". It's been a good experience. Yet the Penguins have found themselves unwittingly thrust into the increasingly uncomfortable intersection of politics and sports. "And I know why". Trump also rescinded a White House invitation to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry after the two-time MVP expressed reservations about going.
Still, there was a different feel Tuesday afternoon as Sidney Crosby, his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates, general manager Jim Rutherford, head coach Mike Sullivan and support staff filed into the Oval Office in Washington ahead of team owners Ron Burkle, Mario Lemieux and U.S. President Donald Trump. The Penguins are trying to focus on the reason they've been asked to stop by and nothing more. "We are simply honoring our championship and the accomplishments of this group of players over this season or the last two seasons".
Still, it has put the Penguins into an uncomfortable position while representing a league that rarely, if ever, ventures into the political realm.
"The president and prime minister will discuss ways to further strengthen our economic, political, security and people-to-people ties, and work to advance United States engagement and mutual interests throughout the Indo-Pacific region", Sanders said. "Everyone's got their own view".
Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown, one of 18 black players in the NHL, became the first hockey player to engage in an anthem protest when he raised his fist while standing on the bench before a game Saturday night. He said it multiple times over the last couple of weeks.
Sullivan also said the team presented Trump with an undisclosed gift.