Instead of visiting the White House, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson requested on Friday that the Toronto Raptors, who just won the NBA championship, visit the Canadian capital, forgoing basketball tradition in what could be seen as a rebuke of U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Hey @Raptors forget the White House for a victory lap. Come to Ottawa and parliament hill so Canada can congratulate you,” he wrote on Twitter, tagging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ask “how about it”?
Usually the champion, and even the runner up, of the National Basketball Association will visit the U.S. capital and the president for an obligatory photoshoots and pleasantries, but last year the two final teams — the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers declined the invitation.
“I tweeted out today forget going to the White House come to Parliament Hill and we’ll celebrate the Raptors. I’m sure Donald Trump appreciated that very much,” said Watson, according to national media reports.
If the Raptors decide to head to Ottawa instead of the White House, it could add a little more tension between Canada and the United States as a rebuke that Trump could take offence to, just a few weeks after Trudeau and the U.S. vice president aimed to present a united front.