When the Boston Red Sox visit the White House on Thursday to celebrate their World Series victory last fall, they’ll be without a number of notable figures. Previously David Price, Mookie Betts, and Rafael Devers (among others) had announced they would not attend. Manager Alex Cora will also pass on the opportunity. In a letter to the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día, Cora wrote:
Puerto Rico is very important to me. During the winter I spent a lot of time back home, visiting with family and friends. Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting. Some people still lack basic necessities, others remain without electricity and many homes and schools are in pretty bad shape almost a year and a half after Hurricane María struck. Even though the United States Government has helped, there’s still a long road ahead and that is our reality. I’ve used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten and my absence (from the White House) is no different. At this moment, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House.
‘I do not feel comfortable celebrating in the White House,’ Said Alex Cora, Manager of the 2018 world series champions, Boston Red Sox.
There will be many conversations this week about the Boston Red Sox visiting the White House and President Donald Trump. That’s because what was once one of many stops on the championship celebration tour for major sports teams and players has become a lightning rod for controversy in recent years. In addition to Cora and some of his Red Sox players who refused to attend the white house. Now comes Red Sox icon David Ortiz, who isn’t invited to the White House, but Big Papi is a man who has opinions on everything Red Sox — World Series visits included. He has done three before, two with George W. Bush, one with Barack Obama.
He told Rob Bradford of WEEI that he wouldn’t visit Trump. His reason? Trump’s treatment of immigrants.
“I’m an immigrant, when it comes down to the political side of it I don’t know much about politics and things like that. But when it comes down the way immigrants have been treated it’s something that goes a long way. You don’t want to go and shake hands with a guy who is treating immigrants like [expletive] because I’m an I” Ortiz is from the Dominican Republic and became an American citizen in 2008, not long after his second World Series win with the Red Sox.
Ortiz didn’t say everything Trump is doing is bad, but he’s passionate about the immigration issue.
Put it this way, in sports, it’s more likely a big percentage of black people and Spanish people are descendants from immigrants,” he said. “So once you see what is going [on] in this country based on being an immigrant or being black it’s something that goes beyond going into the White House and shaking hands with the President just because. That’s the situation that everyone is facing right now. I’m not saying everything Donald Trump is doing is bad but I guess he started off on the wrong foot.
“This is critical. What is going on right now is critical. Listen, when I first came into this country the one thing I always have been proud of is learning how to stay together. That’s one thing that I’m proud of coming into this country. That’s not the situation right now.”