US figure skater Adam Rippon is heading to Pyeongchang, South Korea in less than a month for the Winter Olympics. One place he won’t be going to, however, is the White House.
As is typically traditional, athletes representing the United States at the Olympics visit the White House and president.
While speaking to the BBC, he made it clear he would decline an invitation.
‘Our duty, as athletes, is to be role models,’ he said. ‘I won’t go to the White House.’
He then simply explained his reasoning: ‘I won’t go because I don’t think somebody like me would be welcome there. I know what it’s like to go into a room and feel like you’re not wanted there.’
Earlier this week, Rippon became the first openly gay American athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics. Trump’s campaign and administration have several examples of being anti-LGBTQ.
‘I think it’s really important that we stand up for what we believe in, and we speak out against things that we think are wrong and unjust.’
He also added that if he ever ‘talked to people the way that President Trump talks to people’, his mom would ‘kick my ass’.
A small Team USA at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Rippon isn’t the only Olympian refusing to go to the White House.
Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy is another out athlete. If he goes to the Olympics (results come in later this month), he also plans to refuse an invite.
He told Time: ‘I have no interest in faking support.’
Another skier and former gold medalist, Lindsey Vonn, told CNN Sports she wouldn’t go either.
"I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the President."
— CNN Sport (@cnnsport) December 7, 2017
This issue also extends beyond the Olympics.
In September, the NBA team the Golden State Warriors announced they would not be going to the White House. The decision came after Trump dis-invited Stephen Curry.
LeBron James then famously tweeted: ‘Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!’
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017