“It’s baseball season,” the veteran starting pitcher said.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, who broke the news on Twitter on Thursday, that was all Price had to say about the matter. Only one of the Boston players who plan to skip the White House trip has specified that he is doing so because of an objection to President Donald Trump.
That was relief pitcher Hector Velazquez, who said earlier this month that he “would rather not offend anyone” in his home country of Mexico. “The president has said a lot of stuff about Mexico,” he said through a translator.
Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico, said in December that he saw the White House visit as an opportunity to advocate for the island territory, still reeling from Hurricane Maria’s destruction. However, he subsequently indicated that he wasn’t sure he would go.
World Series hero David Price told me he doesn’t plan to go to the White House when the champion Red Sox visit May 9. “It’s baseball season,” was all Price said about that. Previously, AL MVP Mookie Betts plus JBJ, Rafael Devers and Hector Velazquez also said they won’t be going.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 18, 2019
Other Red Sox players who have said they won’t go include reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts. As with Price, he was terse in his reported reasoning, saying in January: “I won’t be going there. I decided not to.”
That was after third baseman Rafael Devers said simply, “The opportunity was presented, and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
In February, Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. wrote on Twitter that he “still wouldn’t go if Hillary [Clinton] was in office either.” He described that as “a monkey wrench thrown at the people who believe MY decision is political,” and he noted that he had “been to the White House twice” before, including while on a championship college team. Bradley added parenthetically, “yes Obama happen [sic] to be in office both times.”
Riddle me… pic.twitter.com/7ZSIJ2iVJ7
— Jackie Bradley Jr. (@JackieBradleyJr) February 8, 2019
Velazquez took issue with Trump’s criticism of immigrants from Mexico.
“I feel like the people who do come here are people who are trying to work hard and provide for their families and not cause any trouble for anybody,” the pitcher said.
A number of New England Patriots players did not attend the team’s visit to Trump’s White House in 2017 and in the wake of February’s Super Bowl win, a few have said they will skip this year’s trip. The two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors have not been at all, while citing an antipathy to the president’s statements and policies, and after several Eagles did the same in 2018, the whole team was uninvited by Trump.
When the Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals visited last month, three players announced they would not accompany their teammates: goaltender Braden Holtby and forwards Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly, all of whom are Canadian.
Smith-Pelly said of Trump: “the things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist.” And Holtby, an LGBT advocate, said last month: “My family and myself, we believe in a world where humans are treated with respect regardless of your stature, what you’re born into. You’re asked to choose what side you’re on, and I think it’s pretty clear what side I’m on.”
The Red Sox were originally scheduled to visit the White House in February, but that event was postponed. The trip was rescheduled for May.