Israel's only player in America's top basketball league, Omri Caspi, has accused President Donald Trump of inciting "inequality, division and racism" in a row over a withdrawn White House invitation to the captain of his Golden State Warriors team.
In a Twitter post on Saturday, President Trump rescinded the invitation to Stephen Curry to join the planned visit by the NBA champions after Curry had said he would rather not attend because of his objections to the administration’s policies and rhetoric.
"Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Trump tweeted.
Supporting his captain, Casspi said: "We, as a community, shouldn't accept this kind of rhetoric We have to stand united against this sort of thing."
Describing Curry as a role model and an exemplary family man, Casspi added that "going against him is unacceptable.
"This whole thing brought the locker room a lot closer together. This is a really wonderful organisation that lets us all speak our minds freely."
Robert Kraft, the Jewish owner of the New England Patriots American football team, who gave the President his Super Bowl ring, has also weighed into the row. In a statement, he critcised President Trump's comments and backed players' right to use their fame to draw attention to political issues.
It is customary for championship-winning teams from major sports to be invited to the White House.