A group of Cleveland Cavaliers players, including LeBron James, have been excused from staying at the team’s scheduled accommodations, the Trump SoHo hotel in lower Manhattan, when the defending champs roll into New York City today to play the Knicks, multiple team sources told ESPN.com.
Cavs general manager David Griffin told the Associated Press that the team made alternative arrangements for a “group that wants to be elsewhere to be together elsewhere.”
Other members of the team, however, will stay at the 46-story luxury building opened in 2010 and branded through a licensing agreement with President-elect Donald Trump, as the Cavs have a contract with the hotel.
James publicly endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton about a month before she lost the election.
Since Trump’s win on Nov. 8, several other Cavs players have expressed disappointment in the election outcome. Reserve forward Richard Jefferson suggested on his Snapchat account that the Cavs’ trip to the nation’s capital to celebrate their championship with President Barack Obama would make them the “last team to visit the White House.” Jefferson later elaborated, “I just look across this league. There’s been other players with ‘scheduling conflicts’ as they like to call it — not necessarily a political stance. But I could see other scheduling conflicts coming up.”
Reserve guard Iman Shumpert echoed Jefferson’s take, telling Complex, “I’m not going to the White House,” should the Cavs win a second consecutive championship.
At least three other teams have severed their business relationships with Trump-branded hotels this season, according to ESPN. The Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks have moved away from Trump hotels in both New York City and Chicago.
The Cavs are scheduled to arrive in New York City early Tuesday after flying out of Toronto following their game against the Raptors on Monday.