Trump celebrates the Boston Red Sox. Most of them, anyway.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump welcomed the Boston Red Sox to the White House Thursday afternoon to celebrate their 2018 World Series win.

"Each Red Sox player is a shining example of excellence living out an American sporting tradition that goes back many generations," Trump said, honoring the team on the White House South Lawn.

Trump, a native of New York, joked about the Red Sox's defeat of the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, telling players "I think I'll be neutral in this one."

Other members of the team opted against neutrality.

Team manager Alex Cora, who is Puerto Rican, declined to attend the White House celebration, pointing to disagreements with Trump's political positions, including his administration's handling of hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

Other players who declined the invitation included Mookie Betts, David Price, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Hector Velazquez, Xander Bogaerts, Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, according to the Boston Globe. All of them are people of color.

27 PHOTOS
Boston Red Sox visit D.C., the White House
See Gallery
Boston Red Sox visit D.C., the White House
US President Donald Trump welcomes the 2018 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox to the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) is presented with a jersey by professional baseball player J.D. Martinez (R) as the president welcomes the 2018 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox to the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (C) holds a Boston Redsox's jersey that was given to him as he welcomed the 2018 World Series Champions to the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump welcomes the 2018 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox to the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 8, 2019, where he honored the 2018 World Series Baseball Champion Boston Red Sox. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
US President Donald Trump (L) leaves the Oval Office followed by professional baseball players J.D. Martinez (C) and Chris Sale (R) after he welcomed the 2018 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox to the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2019. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox takes a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox takes a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox displays his jacket as he takes a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox takes a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox takes a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox takes a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Nathan Eovaldi #17 and Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pose as they take a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Mitch Moreland #18 and Brock Holt #12 of the Boston Red Sox pose for a photograph as they take a tour during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON D.C. - MAY 9: U.S. President Donald Trump, center, stands with members of the Boston Red Sox as they pose for a photo during a ceremony honoring the 2018 World Series Champions held on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington D.C. on May 9, 2019. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09: Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner speaks to members of the press at the White House May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump hosted the Boston Red Sox to honor their championship of the 2018 World Series. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as right fielder J.D. Martinez and pitch Chris Sale look on during a South Lawn event to honor the Boston Red Sox at the White House May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump hosted the Boston Red Sox to honor their championship of the 2018 World Series.(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: U.S. President Donald Trump is presented with a Boston Red Sox jersey during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: U.S. President Donald Trump recognizes Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: U.S. President Donald Trump walks with J.D. Martinez #28 and Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox during a visit to the White House in recognition of the 2018 World Series championship on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09: U.S. President Donald Trump poses for photos with members of the Boston Red Sox at the White House May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump hosted the Boston Red Sox to honor their championship of the 2018 World Series.(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump, center, speaks during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 9, 2019, where he honored the 2018 World Series Baseball Champion Boston Red Sox. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, right, speaks during a ceremony welcoming the 2018 World Series baseball champions to the White House, the Boston Red Sox, Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Washington. Watching are President Donald Trump and Red Sox outfielder J. D. Martinez, left. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
President Donald Trump flanked by Red Sox players Chris Sale, left, and J. D. Martinez, walk on the South Lawn during a ceremony welcoming the 2018 World Series baseball champions to the White House, the Boston Red Sox, Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Brock Holt #12 and J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox pose for a selfie photograph with a guest during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Members of the Boston Red Sox pose for a group photograph with guests during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 9: Rick Porcello #22 and Matt Barnes #32 of the Boston Red Sox pose for a photograph with patients during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

They aren't the first championship players to decline an invitation to a celebratory White House visit since Trump took office. The University of Virginia men's basketball team recently decided not to attend a White House ceremony after their 2019 NCAA win. And Trump has made clear that some teams, such as the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia Eagles, were not welcome at the White House amid widespread criticism by players on those teams of the president and his policies.

After the brief ceremony on the South Lawn, Trump invited the Red Sox inside the White House for a private tour of the Lincoln Bedroom.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.