Sidney Crosby draws ire of Halifax poet for accepting Trump invite

Donald Trump responded to continued protesting by NFL players during the national anthem, saying he believes players should respect the flag and anthem.

Sidney Crosby‘s willingness to go to the White House isn’t sitting well with everyone in his home province.

Nova Scotia poet laureate El Jones told Metro Halifax she hopes Crosby gets the Pittsburgh Penguins to eventually decline their championship visit.

“It is an act of moral cowardice. I think that he can still fix this and maybe with pressure he will,” Jones said.

“I hope that he sees this and realizes how greatly disappointing this is to Canadians and particularly to black Canadians. He has a chance to reconsider. I’m not saying he’s a terrible person, but he made a terrible choice.”

The Penguins released a statement on Sunday, saying they would respect the “the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House,” with U.S. President Donald Trump in office.

Crosby, who grew up outside Halifax in Cole Harbour, backed the decision, saying, “I support it … It’s a great honour for us to be invited there.”

Both the Penguins’ statement and Crosby’s comments came after Trump called NFL players that protest racism and police violence during the American national anthem “sons of bitches” and added that those doing so should be “fired” by team owners. Trump then rescinded a White House invitation to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors after star Stephen Curry said he didn’t want to go.

Jones said Crosby and the Penguins are one the wrong side of the issue.

“In recent sports this is one of the starkest moments where it’s a very clear which side are you on moment. Where #TakeAKnee was trending on Twitter, it was very clear that there was a choice to be made about whether people are going to side with black athletes protesting injustice,” Jones told Metro.

“It was beyond whether or not you agreed that anyone should be protesting police brutality … It really became about free speech and athletes. Should an athlete be fired because they say something the president or their owner or their fans don’t like?”

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