Boston, MA– It is tradition when a major professional or collegiate sports team wins a championship in their respective sport that the squad is invited to the White House by the President of the United States to celebrate the title with a banquet, a speech, and a series of gifts. However, after the precedent set by the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia Eagles to skip the White House visit due to deep-seated ideological differences with President Donald Trump, many members of the Boston Red Sox team from the 2018 World Series are following suit. And it's manager Alex Cora leading the resistance.
After months of waffling, Cora finally announced to El Nuevo Dia that he would not be in attendance at the White House. His statement included one such declaration that read, "At this moment, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House.” Joining Cora in skipping the White House celebration are reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts, Gold Glover Jackie Bradley, Jr., pitchers David Price and Hector Velazquez, third baseman Rafael Devers, and catcher Christian Vazquez. On the other hand, Rick Porcello, Brock Holt, J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale, Mitch Moreland, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, and World Series MVP Steve Pearce will be in attendance, according to the Boston Globe.
The president and CEO of the Red Sox, Sam Kennedy, remarked that he would also be in attendance, but that he and the entire front office group support the decisions of Cora and any members of the team to not attend the festivities at the White House.
One of the main reasons Cora gave for his decision was the Trump administration's neglect of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria at a time when the U.S. territory desperately needed aid. Furthermore, Trump has since lied about the number of casualties and the amount of assistance provided to Puerto Rico. It is understandable that the people of Puerto Rico are not his biggest fans.
I definitely respect Cora's decision, not just because he is from Puerto Rico and has been outspoken about Trump's lies, while doing his part to help the island heal, but also because he stood up to a sycophant. I'm sure he will do whatever it takes to ensure that the political differences between Red Sox team members will not cause a rift in the clubhouse.
Image via Flickr / Keith Allison