ARLINGTON, Va. – When the Capitals visit the White House on Monday to celebrate winning the 2018 Stanley Cup, Braden Holtby will not be among them. Citing his values, the Canadian netminder said Friday that he would “respectfully decline” the invitation.

“It’s one of those things that we have to think about, but with me, I’ve got to stay true to my values, and I’m going respectfully decline the offer,” Holtby said.

“In saying that, it’s a tough situation for everyone to be in, to be forced to make a decision of that standing. You’re a team and you want to stick together no matter what, so I hope everyone kind of blows it away and that we don’t worry about who goes and who doesn’t. For me, it’s just a personal thing. I believe in what I believe in, and in order to stick to those values, I think I have to do what I feel is right, but that doesn’t make a difference on everyone else’s decision. We stick by every single teammate we have and their decision.”

The news that the Caps would be making the traditional White House visit broke on Tuesday. As one of the team’s most outspoken political activists, it was not known whether Holtby would accept the invitation or not.

Citing his support of the LGBTQ community as “one of the factors” in his decision, Holtby said it ultimately was not difficult to reach the conclusion to decline the invitation.


“Obviously, I’ve been a little more out-spoken on my views than everyone else so I feel like it’s important for me to stand by that.”

“In the end, I never really came up with a situation where I’d feel comfortable going,” he added. “But the toughest part is I’ve always tried to live my life and my career that the team sticks together. So, that’s probably the toughest part, but that’s just the way the world is. Sometimes you’re forced into situations where you have to stick by what you believe. But in the end, I think there’s more important things I can do in the future. Trying to make a stand this way, I don’t think it does the most in terms of creating change. In the future, I just want to stick by what I believe in and trying to push towards a world where people are created equal.”

Holtby now joins teammates Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly who had previously declared they would not accept a White House invitation.