Virginia men's basketball will decline White House invitation

The Virginia men’s basketball team has declined an invitation to the White House.

The team released a statement explaining its decision Friday.

“We have received inquiries about a visit to the White House,” the statement read, via Stadium. “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.”

The Cavaliers won the national championship over Texas Tech in overtime in early April.

Since then Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy and Mamadi Diakite have all declared for the NBA Draft. Guy is for sure staying in while the other two players are still making their decisions.

There has been no indication Virginia’s refusal has been due to political reasons but there were some in Virginia encouraging the team not to attend a White House visit if the team was invited.

A petition was started by Virginia alumna Lacey Kohlmoos encouraging the team not to visit the White House earlier this month. The petition cited various issues of violence, including the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in which a man drove a car into a crowd of people killing one and injuring 28.

The petition points out President Donald Trump responded to the incident by saying there were “very fine people on both sides.”

The petition reads: “By accepting a White House invitation, the team would be condoning the president’s reprehensible and divisive behavior, which is unacceptable.”

The petition had more than 10,000 signatures as of April 15.