Boston, MA– Tomorrow, after concluding their series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox will have the day off for some members of the team to visit the White House, following the team's invitation as the 2018 World Series champions.
Given Donald Trump's divisive and hateful rhetoric towards Puerto Ricans, immigrants, and others, many players have opted not to visit the White House, including MVP Mookie Betts, manager Alex Cora, and now Xander Bogaerts. The players who will be in attendance are all white, except for J.D. Martinez, who has been outspoken about his support for Trump in the past. In response to this observation of an apparent racial element, Steve Buckley, a columnist for The Athletic, tweeted that the players who were going were the "white Sox." In response, David Price also chimed in on Twitter.
Obviously, Price wanted to do some signal boosting for Buckley's tweet, and it seems pretty clear that Price is implying that his teammates should be seeing it. Red Sox front office managers and Cora have been advocating for unity in the clubhouse despite the disparate decision, but Price has no time for that. He is, of course, one of the players avoiding the White House, and he's letting his teammates know where he stands. Price basically threw a grenade into the clubhouse and then walked out, since he has now been placed on the ten day injured list, as well.
Another prominent former member of the Red Sox also weighed in on the issue. All-time great David Ortiz was asked about how he felt about Alex Cora's and the team's decision to decline the White House invitation, and he was in complete agreement with them. Ortiz, who famously took a selfie with President Barack Obama during the visit after the 2013 title, said about the 2019 visit, "You don’t want to go and shake hands with a guy who is treating immigrants like shit because I’m an immigrant."
He has a good point, and so do Cora, Buckley, and Price. More likely than not, this will be a non-issue for the tight-knit Red Sox team going forward, but it is interesting to see the political divide at Fenway Park.