The NBA’s Miami Heat have chosen to move their annual charity golf tournament away from President Donald Trump’s Trump National Doral resort, located north of Miami.
The franchise has hosted the event at the Doral resort, which Trump has owned since buying it in a bankruptcy sale in 2012, for the past four years. The Sun-Sentinel, which reported the move based on a team source, said the franchise has not offered a public statement on the decision or offered a reason for the move. The Washington Post got a more overt, albeit somewhat vague, response suggesting the reason is obvious, implying Trump’s politics.
This golf tournament is a large fundraiser for the team’s charitable foundation. According to the Heat website, the 2015 event raised $95,000 the Miami Heat Charitable Fund.
It’s unclear if the decision was influenced by Trump withdrawing an invitation to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House — a custom for major American championship sports teams — following guard Stephen Curry saying he wouldn’t attend.
The Heat players also may be offended by Trump’s offensive against NFL players who choose to kneel for the national anthem before games in an effort to raise awareness of social injustice issues for minorities, including how African-Americans are treated by law enforcement. Last season and through the preseason, Heat players stood for the anthem, arms locked in a sign of solidarity. The NBA collective-bargaining agreement requires players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The PGA Tour moved a World Golf Championships event held at Trump National Doral after the 2016 edition of the event. The Tour said it was unable to secure a title sponsor for the lucrative event after Cadillac’s contract as title sponsor ended. The event was moved to Mexico and reborn as the WGC-Mexico Championship, ending a half-century run of PGA Tour events at the Florida resort and its famed Blue Monster course.