Visiting the White House has become a tradition when a team wins a championship in this country. He may not be born in the US, but star Slovenian center Anze Kopitar has no reservations about what it means. Kopitar tweeted out
Meeting the most powerful man in the world today… #heartbeatisabithigher
— Anze Kopitar (@AnzeKopitar) March 26, 2013
The Kings aren’t the only visitors today, as the Kings brothers in ownership and 2012 champions are in on the action today as well. The LA Galaxy and Kings are both owned by AEG, and still will be for the foreseeable future since AEG was taken down for auction a few weeks ago.
It is convenient, opportunistic, and unusual that both teams will make the visit together. The modern tradition of visiting the White House after championships started while Ronald Reagan was in office. The former sports radio announcer and actor was a sports fanatic. There is no word if any of the Kings or Galaxy are planning to keep up a more recent tradition of not visiting the White House for political reasons, like goaltender Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins. The odds were Landon Donovan was on track for that distinction, but he (at least temporarily) ended his sabbatical to make the trip. Dustin Penner addressed the decisive issue head on
After careful consideration I’ve decided not to visit the White House today for political reasons LOL JK I’m not an idiot!Free trip? I’m in!
— Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) March 26, 2013
For two teams as big as a hockey and soccer club, they are percentage-wise the fewest number of Americans to visit the White House. Without double checking my math, there are more Slovenians, Russians, Brazilians, Canadians, and Mexicans combined than Americans. That shouldn’t interrupt the joyful proceedings. It’s the most powerful man in the world as Kopitar pointed out. Meeting him is pretty honorable and noteworthy regardless of the player’s political affiliations.
Who would be the most famous man in the room is unlikely to attend the visit. PSG midfielder David Beckham isn’t going to sign autographs for the President, be draped in a British flag, or bring the guards from outside Buckingham Palace with him.
If given the time or opportunity to speak with the President it would be difficult to run out of questions, but in the event they get stuck, they could always ask the President about how is NCAA bracket is doing.