Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Penguins and politics: Criticism for Crosby, Reaves wouldn’t visit White House

Pittsburgh Penguins v Ottawa Senators - Game Six

OTTAWA, ON - MAY 23: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks on against the Ottawa Senators in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on May 23, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Ottawa Senators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Getty Images

OK, let’s cover a variety of topics surrounding the political fallout of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ White House visit in one post.

For those interested, you can find a lot of these topics in one spot.

If not, this is consolidated in a single post, so you can just move on to other posts with less work. (It looks like there will be a significant volume of hockey-only news today. Did you hear that the Buffalo Sabres claimed Jordan Nolan?)

Criticism for Crosby, specifically

Georges Laraque was disappointed with the Penguins, as a team, for accepting Donald Trump’s invitation to the White House.

Halfiax professor El Jones singled out Sidney Crosby, specifically, in a column for VICE:

Racism is a problem in the NHL. Sidney Crosby, the sport’s biggest name, had a chance to speak, not only in support of his colleagues in football and basketball, but for players like Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien was the only black player on the USA roster at the World Cup of Hockey, where coach John Tortorella threatened to bench any player who protested during the anthem.

As Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski reacted to that criticism while discussing P.K. Subban’s decision to stand during the national anthem, it’s not too surprising that Crosby took this path as a “company man.”

Considering how annoyed Crosby seemed about Subban and Listerine, Wyshynski is accurate in describing number 87 as someone “who treats controversy like it’s radioactive.” Even so, as the captain of the Penguins and the face of the NHL, it’s also not surprising that Crosby is getting singled out, especially close to his hometown.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan expanded upon the issue with these comments.

Ryan Reaves would pass

Since Ryan Reaves was an enforcer for the St. Louis Blues in 2016-17, he’s not eligible to take that polarizing trip to the White House.

What if the Pittsburgh Penguins manage a three-peat, though? Reaves responded with “probably not, no” when asked if he would go to the White House in that scenario, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Josh Mackey reports.

“I don’t know,” Reaves said when asked why not. “I just wouldn’t. I don’t agree with things. I don’t agree with certain things that [President Donald Trump] stands for or he says.”

Pittsburgh Mayor isn’t attending White House visit

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Bob Bauder reports that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto won’t join the Penguins in their visit to the White House.

“Let’s just say if all of the attention was not focused on sports in the way that it has over the past week with the tweets that have been going out from the White House, I would have thought about it,” Peduto said. “It would just bring attention to the city in a way that could be negative. I’ll take a knee on this one and stay home.”

OK, those are three of the biggest stories that have surfaced regarding the Penguins’ situation lately.

To brush up on the rest, check below.

More on this issue

Penguins make controversial decision to accept White House invitation.

Donald Trump tweets about their visit.

Auston Matthews and others on the subject.

Ho-Sang, Okposo also weigh in.