BOSTON (CBS) — The tradition of having championship-winning teams visit the White House has become a political sticking point in recent years in America. The Boston Red Sox are now just the latest team to go through the process.
And while the decision of manager Alex Cora, a native of Puerto Rico, to skip the trip to visit Donald Trump thrust the Red Sox into national headlines, a tweet from star pitcher David Price on Monday may bump up the attention a few notches.
Price, who cited non-political reasons when announcing during spring training that he wouldn’t be visiting the White House with his teammates, quote-tweeted a message sent out by longtime Boston sports columnist Steve Buckley on Monday. Buckley had made a pun that, with Cora’s announcement, it was essentially a trip being made by the “white” Sox.
Price liked the tweet so much that he decided to expand the audience from Buckley’s 38,000 Twitter followers to Price’s 1.8 million followers.
Price’s tweet is sure to serve its intended purpose, which was to draw attention to the racial disparity that exists between the players and executives who are making the trip to visit Trump and the players and staff who aren’t.
Per public statements and reports, the following players all intend to make the trip to the White House on Thursday:
Owners John Henry and Tom Werner
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski
President/CEO Sam Kennedy
In that group, everyone is from the United States, with J.D. Martinez being the lone player with a Hispanic heritage, as he is of Cuban descent.
And here are the players who have stated that they won’t be making the trip:
Jackie Bradley Jr.
That list includes the Red Sox’ black players (Betts, Bradley, Price), as well as their international players — Bogaerts is from Aruba, Devers is from the Dominican Republic, Leon is from Venezuela, Vazquez is from Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory) and Velazquez is from Mexico. Cora’s decision to not attend marks the first time a head coach or manager from a championship team has elected not to attend when his team makes the visit to the White House, according to The Boston Globe.
Among the players whose intentions are not publicly known are Andrew Benintendi, Eduardo Nunez, and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Price’s retweet about the “white” Sox is sure to make the Red Sox’ scheduled White House visit a highly discussed topic this week, and it ensures that once the standard team photo with Trump is taken, it will certainly make the rounds on social media and traditional media as well for showing a lack of diversity.