CAN’T we ever just enjoy the moment anymore without dragging politics into the mix?

The University of Virginia men’s basketball team made us all proud by winning the national championship, but even before the cheers had subsided, some U.Va. alumni were asking the team not to visit the White House if invited.

In other words, there is apparently a faction out there that wants to put a political brand on the No. 1 team in America.



What’s the deal here? Are these alumni going to stop donating to U.Va. if those basketball players shake President Donald Trump’s hand? Are they going to return their diplomas and give up on one of America’s great universities if 15 players and several coaches walk through the White House door?

Come on, people! Get over it! Talk about childish; that sounds like something an envious first-grader would do.

I don’t care if you don’t like the Republican Party or you can’t stand the Democrats. These Virginia players achieved something no other Cavalier basketball team ever did. Let’s not ruin it by making their success a political issue.

Many Americans have apparently forgotten that the White House is neither Democrat nor Republican. It is home to the president of the United States, no matter what his political persuasion may be.

We should also remember that President Trump is the leader of all Americans, no matter the party. This “Not my president!” business is a lot of nonsense. He IS your president, duly elected by rules mandated by the Constitution. You may not like him, but he is your president.

Whether or not the Virginia basketball team visits the White House is up to the players. It is not right to put political pressure on these kids. It is their decision and theirs alone.

It should be noted here that, as of this writing, the U.Va. basketball team has not been invited to visit the White House. But if the invitation comes, let the players decide without pressure from the alumni—or anyone else.

If they are invited, I hope they will go. No, I don’t say this because I’m a big Donald Trump fan because I am not. But I am an American and proud of it. And I understand that it is an honor to be invited to the White House, no matter who is president.

Should the U.Va. basketball team receive an invitation to visit the White House it would mean that America and its president would like to honor the players and coaches for winning the national championship. Any visit would not be about presidential policies, but basketball achievements.

From its devastating first-round tournament loss a year ago to winning the national championship, this basketball team has been a class act and I have no doubt that coach Tony Bennett and his group will do the right thing.

University of Virginia alumni might also think about this: If the team turned down an invitation to be honored at the White House, what would Mr. Jefferson say?

He’s the only “alumnus” that counts in my book.

Donnie Johnston: djohn40330@aol.com

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