Red Sox president says team may not visit White House due to shutdown

The Boston Red Sox have been invited to the White House to celebrate their 2018 World Series Championship, but they might end up skipping their ceremonial visit. The reason isn’t political — at least, not in the way people would think.

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said on Saturday that the team is likely to skip their Feb. 15 visit due to the government shutdown. Kennedy was speaking at the Red Sox’s Winter Weekend fan event, and told the audience that the impending decision isn’t about politics, but about how many people have been seriously affected by the shutdown. Via the Boston Globe:

“It’s hit people hard in the New England area. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to be celebrating in such a public way while there’s people who are struggling right now. That’s been the internal conversation.”

Kennedy said they’d have a decision on the visit “pretty soon.”

If the visit does happen, not everyone on the team will go. According to the Globe, Xander Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez are both undecided. Rafael Devers said recently that he’s not going to attend, but emphasized that his decision was not political.

Manager Alex Cora has yet to make up his mind about whether he’ll visit the White House. He’s from Puerto Rico, and has been an outspoken critic of how the president responded to Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island.

Cora initially said that he was leaning toward attending, and would use his platform to argue for more help for Puerto Rico, but said last week that he’s still thinking about it due to recent events. Cora mentioned the shutdown as a reason, but also mentioned news about Puerto Rico. Trump has threatened to take away the island’s disaster funds, and a recent report said that Trump tried to illegally cut off Puerto Rico’s disaster funding in October.

The Globe reported that Chris Sale, Mitch Moreland, Rick Porcello, and Matt Barnes would make the visit — if it happens.


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