Ottawa mayor asks Raptors to skip White House, urges PM Justin Trudeau to invite Raptors for Parliament visit instead
The Toronto Raptors not only won their first championship n franchise history after they defeated the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, but they also seemed to inspire an entire country.
Traditionally, the champions of the major sports leagues make a visit to the White House. However, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson implored the team to skip said visit, asking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to invite the team to Parliament:
— Jim Watson (@JimWatsonOttawa) June 14, 2019
At this point, it may seem obvious that the Raptors would be guests at Canadian Parliament before heading to the White House. But there is precedent for Toronto-based teams visiting the President of the United States.
George H.W. Bush hosted the Toronto Blue Jays after they won the World Series in 1992, the last time a Canada-based team went to the White House. The Blue Jays and Montreal Canadiens each won championships in their respective sports in the following year as well, but both teams declined another invitation.
Will the Raptors visit the White House? Their NBA Finals opponent–the Golden State Warriors had already declared that they would decline another invitation to the White House. Warriors players and head coach Steve Kerr have been vocal in their criticisms of President Donald Trump, and Trump in turn has scoffed at Warriors personnel.
Those same ’92 Blue Jays that visited George H.W. Bush also visited then-prime minister Brian Mulroney at Rideau Hall. However, not all Canadian teams had been bestowed with that honor before.
Still, it seems likely that Trudeau would extend an invitation to the Raptors in the wake of their historic achievement.