In a display of cowardice at best or a nod to White Supremacy at worst, the White players on the baseball World Champion Boston Red Sox attended a White House celebration of their feat,refusing to stand in solidarity with their Black and Brown teammates (ten in all) and their manager who decided to boycott the racist, xenophobic president.
It is incredible that players on a team in a game known for the “sacrifice fly” and the “sacrifice bunt” could not figure out that this was the time to give up their individual comfort for the good of the team. The White players given a historic opportunity to stand with those saying no to racism and xenophobia refused to “take their turn at bat.”
No matter what the White Red Sox players do from here on out they will be remembered as the guys who refused to take a stand, the yellow bellies, who refused to side with their teammates. They will be known as the “hollow men” for whom form (photo ops) was more important than substance.
“Puerto Rico is very important to me. 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… 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. As such, at this moment, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora making it clear why he refused to attend the White House ceremony honoring his team’s championship.
Cora had made it clear a week before the scheduled visit, that he was not going to attend, especially in light of president Trumps disparagement of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Trump patronized Puerto Ricans even alluding to the idea that it was not a part of the US, while being slow to send help and supplies and downplaying the deaths and devastation caused by the storm.
“I learned conviction from Dad and Mom,” explained Cora.
Among the players that refused to attend the White House ceremony were several immigrant players from countries that Trump had alluded to as “s—hole” countries. Hector Velazquez from Mexico has said that he could not go because of his allegiance to his country and it would not look good to be seen fraternizing with the man who has made quite a few contemptuous comments about his fellow Mexicans. Trump has referred to Mexicans as “breeders” among the other derogatory remarks he has made.
The three African American players, Mookie Betts, David Price and Jackie Bradley Jr, who stayed behind, did not explain their boycott, but considering the actions of Trump after Charlottesville and his response to Colin Kaepernick and others who took stands against racism and police violence, it’s not difficult to guess why they chose not to attend.
The more pressing question is why did the White members of a baseball team that has practically slept, ate, traveled and played together for 12 of the last 15 months consider it unimportant to stand with their teammates.
Brock Holt one of the White players who attended the White House ceremony claimed in an interview that, “we [the White players] support the players that are not going and they support us.” Holt to paraphrase an old love song, has “a strange way of showing” support to his teammates. In truth, it is a cowardly statement, saying one supports his teammates, is not the same as actually supporting them.
No one ever hit a homerun from the dugout!
But Holt proves just how clueless White folks are allowed to be in the US because his teammates of color are likely thinking, ‘Fool we don’t support y’all going to fraternize with that boorish, bigoted, xenophobic, sexist, knuckle dragger , Donald Trump who has praised racists as good people, labeled immigrants as criminals and Mexicans as breeders. That’s why we didn’t go!’
The White, Red Sox player is only trying to soothe his conscience. The Black and Brown players are simply being better teammates, rather than throwing their sellout, so called teammates under the bus, they are withholding their real thoughts and feelings for the good of the team.
But there was an indication that some of those who sat out the White House invitation,“felt some kind of way” about their Caucasian teammates attendance. Pitcher David Price re-tweeted sports columnist Steve Buckley who earlier tweeted, “So basically, it’s the White Sox that will be going[to the White House].” adding, “I just feel that more than 38K should see this tweet.”
As the saying goes, “action speaks louder than words.” No matter what excuses this crew provides, their actions have said that they lack empathy, sympathy or compassion for their teammates plight and could care less care about their feelings or their well- being. And at worst their attendance suggests that they agree with Trump’s behavior and his poor treatment of People of Color and immigrants. And if they in essence don’t agree with the presidents’ worse instincts, but chose to attend anyway, it demonstrates a lack of conscience and conviction. In a word their presence in the midst of their teammates boycott exposes them as “unprincipled.”
Not only did the White players who chose to have cold burgers and fries with the president prove to be poor role models, but if sports reveals character as some say then this exposes their lack of it.
“If one member of the team is not comfortable — or two or three — why would anybody on that team go?” asked MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. “I don’t get it. I mean, isn’t it all about unity?”
Brzezinski was right, whatever happened to: “take one for the team,” camaraderie, team sacrifice, team player, teamwork, team spirit, espirit de corps?
However in the US when race and nationalism is invoked, principle and conscious go out the window.
Surprisingly, media and others were upset that the White players did not stand with their fellow players, but truth is, no one should be shocked that the White players acted like…., well White people. In the US most White’s claim to be non- racist, but whenever there is an opportunity to take a stand against it, many seldom do. Given a choice between being “white” or right, they choose “white” almost every time. Being “White” for too many is first and foremost, it comes before their humanity, and definitely comes before any team.
The liberal corporate press was all over this story because apparently they are embarrassed that the world gets to see just how narrow US citizens can be, even those playing sports.
“We don’t see it as a racial divide,” whitesplained Boston’s owner, John Henry, who pretended not to see what everyone in the world could see and that is the Red Sox may wear the same uniforms, but they are not a team.
Sports parrot’s US society, which is in fact racially divided. The US has been historically and is continued to be divided by race: it is a racist country! And this will be the case until someone, or somebody’s choose humanity over race and take a stand for human solidarity, especially when the opportunity is presented.
justice then peace