Society

Cleveland Cavaliers Reject Staying At Trump Hotel

| by Denise Recalde

LeBron James and a number of his teammates of the NBA champion team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have opted out of staying at a New York hotel that is named after the President-elect Donald Trump.

The players, who are set to play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 7 in Manhattan, will be staying at a different hotel, The Daily Mail reports.

According to WNYC, the Cleveland Cavaliers have a contract with the hotel, a 46-story luxury establishment that opened in 2010 and is branded with, not owned by, the Trump name via a licensing agreement.

James had publicly supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton some four weeks before the presidential election and even appeared with her in a rally in his home state of Ohio, a state picked up by Trump. 

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The general manager of the team, David Griffin, said alternate plans had been made for a "group that wants to be elsewhere to be together elsewhere," the Associated Press reports. He did not reveal what alternate hotel had been booked.

At least three other NBA teams will be terminating their business contracts with Trump-branded hotels in New York and Chicago this season, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks. 

While Donald Trump owns no stake in the Trump Soho building, his company, the Trump Organization, owns and maintains Trump International Tower and Hotel in Chicago.  

Cleveland player Iman Shumpert commented early in December that he would not be visiting the White House for the traditional team visit if the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA championship again this year, Complex Magazine reports. 

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Shumpert said he is offended by Trump's "racial, sexist bulls***."

"I do think he's crazy—straight up," Shumpert said. "I think he did that stuff to get people to think he's willing to shake it up. But did I vote for him? No. The other stuff that comes with him, I can't get with."

Trump's victory was received disfavorably by other members of the NBA. 

"I'm just sick to my stomach," San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovic told the media in November. 

"Not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but the disgusting tenor and tone and all of the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic," he said. 

"I live in that country where half of the people ignored all of that to elect someone. That's the scariest part of the whole thing to me."

The Cavaliers are due in New York City on the early morning of Dec. 6 following their game against the Toronto raptors in that city on Dec. 5. 

Sources: The Daily Mail, ESPN, AP via NY Daily News, WYNCComplex Magazine / Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

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