The Boston Red Sox’s decision to accept an invitation to the White House, like most political matters, was received with mixed reactions.
And Sam Kennedy is here to explain why the Red Sox said yes.
Visits to the White House for sports teams that win championships long have been commonplace, though in recent years players have begun skipping out on them as a political statement, namely since President Donald Trump took office.
So when the Red Sox president and CEO announced Monday that Boston would, in fact, visit the White House, some people weren’t overly pleased, even though it’s not required for players to go and manager Alex Cora — who has criticized Trump for comments about his native Puerto Rico — said he would use the visit for good.
During an appearance on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe” on Tuesday, Kennedy explained what went into the decision.
“We don’t see it as a political event,” Kennedy said, via WEEI.com. “Clearly, when you go to the White House, it’s an honor and a privilege, and one we take very, very seriously. It has never been, from our perspective, an endorsement of a politician, or policy, or procedures. As I said, we’ve gone under Republican administrations, Democrat administrations. What happens from here is not up to us. We just continue to try to run the franchise with the best eye on long-term decision making and doing what’s right for our players and fans. We understand some may disagree with this decision. We completely respect that. We’ve got 330 men and women within the organization. Certainly, people will have different personal opinions, but this is one of those moments where you try to put personal opinions aside and do what’s best for the organization. This is a team that deserves to be celebrated, they deserve the recognition that they’ve gotten and will continue to get.”
The discussion on what they would do came up fairly quickly, and it didn’t take long to come up with an answer.
“It was actually relatively an easy decision,” Kennedy said. “One of the things that Alex Cora and I talked about and Dave Dombrowski talked about on the flight on the way back from Los Angeles was this very issue. We thought we would try and be proactive and those guys were fully on-board, and I was on-board, and John Henry and Tom Werner, who make a lot of the major decisions facing the franchise, were on-board. We talked a lot about it, but there was no disagreement — quite the opposite. We wanted to be consistent with our policy. It’s an honor to be invited, and we went after ’04, ’07 and ’13 under different administrations and individuals. We see it as a continuation of that policy, which has really been quite an experience for those players who have gotten to participate.”
No date for the visit has been set.
Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images