Following Virginia’s men’s basketball national championship win over Texas Tech, an online petition was created by University alumna Lacey Kohlmoos, who graduated from the College in 2005, urging the team to forgo an invite to join President Donald Trump in a celebration at the White House.
The petition has over 10,000 signatures from individuals around the globe, with a goal of 11,000 signatures.
At present, no invitation to the White House has been made to the team. University officials have not said if any future invitations would be accepted.
Following the Cavaliers win, Trump tweeted his congratulations to the team, saying it was a “Great game!” The message was retweeted by the official Virginia Sports account.
Villanova, 2018 NCAA men’s basketball champions, did not receive an invitation to the champions' ceremony with the president. North Carolina, champions in 2017, declined their invitation.
The body of the petition recounts various incidents of violence — both threatened and actual — including the August 2017 white nationalist Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville when Trump stated that there were “very fine people on both sides.”
“By accepting a White House invitation, the team would be condoning the president's reprehensible and divisive behavior, which is unacceptable,” Kohlmoos wrote in the petition.