President Donald Trump's recent attack on NFL players who have protested during the National Anthem has set the Internet ablaze with controversy.
In wake of Trump's statements, the University of North Carolina 2017 national championship men's basketball team has declined the traditional White House visit.
The school cites scheduling conflicts as the reason for pulling out. However, many questioned that reasoning as the true cause because UNC waited until the firestorm to make the announcement.
During a rally for Sen. Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday, Sept. 22, Trump demanded that NFL owners fire players who "disrespect the flag" with a National Anthem protest.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say: 'Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired,"' Trump said to a majority white crowd.
According to The Charlotte Observer, UNC team spokesperson Steve Kirschner made the announcement on Saturday while the controversy brewed. NFL players and NBA stars Steph Curry and LeBron James criticized the president for his vulgar comments inspiring Colin Kaepernick's protest to spread like wildfire.
“We couldn’t find a date that worked for both parties,” Kirschner said. “We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn’t work out that date, we couldn’t work out that date, so – we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”