May 9, 2019 - Sports

Red Sox White House boycott divided along racial lines

Fenway park home of the Red Sox

Fenway Park. Photo: Photo: Omar Rawlings/Getty Image

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora and nearly a dozen players say they'll skip this afternoon's visit to the White House to celebrate the team's World Series championship, AP's Jonathan Lemire writes.

Why it matters: All those bypassing the ceremony with President Trump, including American League MVP Mookie Betts, are players of color. Every white player on the team — as well as J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent — is expected to attend.

Those around the Red Sox locker room stressed that a player's decision to attend was a personal choice and not, in many cases, political.

  • The racial disparity received attention after pitcher David Price, an African American who said he would not attend, retweeted longtime Boston sports columnist Steve Buckley: "Basically, it's the white Sox who'll be going."

The context: A championship team's coach rarely, if ever, misses the White House visit.

  • But the events have taken on sharp political overtones since Trump took office.
  • Cora has cited his frustration with the administration’s handling of hurricane recovery in his native Puerto Rico.

The big picture ... The split reflects a larger trend across baseball: A number of players hail from Trump-friendly states like Texas and Florida, while the sport has also seen a surge in Latino players and a decline in African Americans.

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