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Sidney Crosby Is Catching A Lot Of Heat For Going To The White House With The Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins said disagreement with Trump "can be expressed in other ways."

Sidney Crosby is catching a lot of heat, especially from fellow Canadians, over his upcoming visit to the White House.

AP

The Pittsburgh Penguins accepted President Trump's invitation to the White House despite professional athletes increasingly speaking out against Trump.

Steph Curry said he didn't want to visit the White House, prompting Trump to publicly rescind the invitation on Twitter, and other athletes like the New York Yankees' CC Sabathia have also said they wouldn't accept the honor. Over the weekend, numerous NFL teams chose to kneel or lock arms in defiance of Trump's declaration that the "sons of bitches" who protest during the national anthem should be fired.

The Penguins released a cautious statement saying they "respect the institution of the Office of the President, and the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House."

Please to inform that the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL will be joining me at the White House for Ceremony. Great team!

The team said disagreement with the president "can be expressed in other ways" than boycotting the White House visit.

"However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit."

Despite trying to walk a fine line, the Penguins are still being called out for not taking a firmer stand.

Team captain Sidney Crosby is getting hit extra hard, especially by other Canadians.

@penguins Poor timing, bad decision made by a bunch of Non American white guys. Sydney Crosby, Canada is watching you. Do the right thing.

Shame on you,Sidney Crosby?@penguins for accepting that invitation and standing by a divider and a bully. Forgot Canadian values Sidney?

People are calling on Sid the Kid to show leadership.

Make no mistake... if Sidney Crosby said "I'm not going," the @penguins would follow suit. Waiting for him to step up.

"Speak up, Sidney Crosby."

@penguins should decline the White House. Speak up Sidney Crosby

People back home in Nova Scotia are especially critical.

Cartoon for @chronicleherald #SidneyCrosby #DonaldTrump #Trump

Former Halifax poet laureate El Jones told Metro News that Crosby's decision to meet with Trump had "greatly disappointed" many black Nova Scotians.

“If he didn’t want to go, as captain and as the biggest superstar in the league, he could’ve made a serious point about not going," Jones said. "He has a lot of power here.”

Two history professors wrote in the Halifax Chronicle Herald that Crosby should know better, given where he's from.

OPINION: Six reasons why Sidney Crosby should dodge Trump’s White House https://t.co/9WwNmviZvq #TakeAKnee

"Remember your roots," wrote Jonathan Roberts and Corey Slumkoski, both associate professors at Mount Saint Vincent University.

"You are from Cole Harbour, the flashpoint of black and white race relations in Canada for the past 30 years. The parallels between your hometown and the USA today are too obvious to ignore. Race determined much of the world that you grew up in. And now, as an adult and a public figure, the decisions you make will have an impact on race relations not just in the US, but in Canada as well."

TSN hockey commentator Bob McKenzie said going to the White House could result in "being used, unwittingly or wittingly, as presidential propaganda — so I would not go."

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Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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