The World Series champions have accepted an invitation from the president for the customary White House visit, which has been declined by multiple teams in the Trump era.
For years, it’s been a custom for teams that win professional sports championships in the United States to be invited to the White House for a ceremony in which they’re honored by the president of the United States. In the presidency of Donald Trump, however, this is one of many norms that have fallen by the wayside.
The Golden State Warriors, who have won both NBA championships during the Trump presidency, did not visit the White House either time after both its star player Stephen Curry and coach Steve Kerr were publicly critical of the president. Instead, the Warriors opted to visit Washington and do other things, such as visit an African-American museum.
The Philadelphia Eagles, who won the Super Bowl in February, had their planned White House visit canceled in June only days beforehand when it became clear that a majority of team members were not planning to attend the ceremony. The New England Patriots had visited the year before, although quarterback Tom Brady did not appear, despite his avowed support of Trump.
However, the 2018 World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, will indeed make the trip to the White House, NBC Sports reported, citing a tweet from Boston Globe sports reporter Pete Abraham. The Houston Astros, who won the World Series in 2017, did hold a White House ceremony, while the 2016 champions, the Chicago Cubs, made their trip while Barack Obama was still in office. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the NBA title in 2016, also visited Obama.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, a native of Puerto Rico, has been critical of Trump in the past, especially in relation to the response to Hurricane Maria.
“I respect him,” Cora said during the 2018 season. “He’s the President of the United States. But I don’t agree with a lot of the stuff he says about us,” he added.
In addition, the team’s principal owner, John Henry, is a longtime Democratic donor. However, at least one Boston player, relief pitcher Heath Hembree, has said that he’s a supporter of the president.
There’s been no announcement as of yet about the timing of the visit. Some championship baseball teams have done their White House visit during the offseason, while others have scheduled it for when the team is in town to face the Washington Nationals. The Red Sox, however, are not scheduled to play in Washington in 2019.
The Red Sox visited the White House following all three of their previous World Series wins, meeting President George W. Bush following the 2004 and 2007 wins, and President Barack Obama after their victory in 2013.
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