Adam Rippon rules out a White House visit, as he wouldn’t be “welcome”

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Earlier this week, it was announced that Adam Rippon would be the first openly gay athlete to represent the US at the Winter Olympics. And now he’s announced that he would turn down an invitation from the White House.

Speaking to the BBC, Rippon said: “It’s our duty, as athletes, to be role models. I won’t go to the White House.”

He then elaborated on his reasons, saying: “I won’t go because I don’t think somebody like me would be welcome there. I know what it’s like to go into a room and feel like you’re not wanted there.

“Given this platform of being an Olympic athlete, I think it’s really important that we stand up for what we believe in, and we speak out against things that we think are wrong and unjust.”

During the same interview, Rippon also condemned the language that Donald Trump frequently uses, saying: “If I talked to people the way that President Trump talks to people, my mom would kick my ass.”

Rippon won’t be the only athlete snubbing an invite to White House, as gay skier Gus Kenworthy said back in December that he’d turn one down.

Speaking at the time, Kenworthy told TIME: “I have no interest in faking support. I don’t want to go shake his hand.”

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