With great accomplishments comes great acknowledgments.
With the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup victory last season they earned the greatest accomplishment in their franchise’s 44 year history, however, they won the Stanley Cup during a time that everything around us is very politically charged. For those that try to stay out of politics like we do, you can’t help but know what is going on in the world today thanks to social media and the reach it has. Unfortunately here in the United States we have a President who has been very divisive and hateful and has churned up the political angst around us.
During the Stanley Cup Finals the press asked Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly, now with the Hershey Bears, if he would visit the White House to which said he would decline the opportunity to go if given the invitation to attend. After the Stanley Cup was won forward Brett Connolly made it known that he would not attend either as he stood behind Smith-Pelly and respected the decision to not attend the White House if/when invited.
Then late last week it was announced that the Capitals would attend a private ceremony at the White House hosted by President Donald Trump on Monday, March 25th. Many have questioned why so late into the season for this with the Capitals getting ready to start the playoffs in two weeks. Some conspiracy theories have stated because of Smith-Pelly being on the team and because of what has happened with the NFL, NBA, and WNBA these past two years in dealing with this current Presidency that he was the source of the issue, and that the timing of Smith-Pelly’s demotion to Hershey paved the way for this to happen.
However, something that no one expected was on Friday Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who is the team’s LGBT-Inclusion Ambassador, announced that he would not be attending the White House ceremony citing that he needs to stick to his moral values, which is something we can all respect.
Now with the knowledge that both Connolly, who doubled down and stated that he will not attend, and Holtby that they will not be attending the White House with the team many on social media have gone on the attack with tweets and Facebook posts lambasting the two. Critizing them for not being American, both Connolly and Holtby are Canadian, or for not wanting to use the opportunity to discuss their differences with the President, which is not the time nor the place to do it when in a push for the playoffs.
Should these issues be discussed and done in an open forum so we can bridge a gap and make progress to a better society? 100% yes we should, but we must always remember that there is a time and a place to do so. Also we must always remember that we live in a country that we have the right to choose what is best for us, no matter whether you agree or disagree with the decision or opinion of the other person.
Both Brett Connolly and Braden Holtby decided that they would not attend the White House ceremony for the Capitals 2018 Stanley Cup victory, and we here at The Xperience: Hockey Talk support both Connolly and Holtby for decision, just as we support the rest of the team for their decision to attend the White House ceremony despite our personal opinions on the matter.
**We will be keeping the comments open for this article, however, if we feel things are getting too toxic we will shut comments down on this specific article.