Crosby backs Penguins' decision to visit White House
Stanley Cup champions 'respect the institution of the Office of the President'
Sidney Crosby is backing the Pittsburgh Penguins' decision to accept a White House invitation from President Donald Trump.
"I support it," Crosby said after the Penguins' 4-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues during the annual Hockeyville USA exhibition game Sunday night. "It's a great honour for us to be invited there."
The reigning two-time Stanley Cup champions announced their decision Sunday morning.
"The Pittsburgh Penguins respect the institution of the Office of the President, and the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House," the statement read.
"We attended White House ceremonies after previous championships – touring the historic building and visiting briefly with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama – and have accepted an invitation to attend again this year.
Pittsburgh's willingness to attend the White House is in contrast to the Golden State Warriors who have clashed with U.S. president Donald Trump and will not be visiting this year.
Trump revoked the White House invitation, despite the fact that the invitation had not yet been made official, to the NBA champions on Saturday after the team had said they might not accept.
Trump confirmed the Penguins' invitation on Twitter.
Please to inform that the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL will be joining me at the White House for Ceremony. Great team!—@realDonaldTrump
The Penguins did acknowledge that "any agreement or disagreement with a president's politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways."
"However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit."
With files from CBC Sports