Against backdrop of controversy, Red Sox honored by Trump
Published 8:09 am Friday, May 10, 2019
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump honored the World Series champion Boston Red Sox — well, some of them — at the White House on Thursday, but made no mention of the controversy that shadowed the visit.
The team’s manager, Alex Cora, did not attend the ceremony after citing his frustration with the administration’s efforts to help his native Puerto Rico recover from a devastating hurricane. And nearly a dozen members of the team, all players of color, skipped the opportunity to shake Trump’s hand. Meanwhile, every white player on the team — as well as outfielder J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent — attended.
The Red Sox repeatedly denied there was any sort of racial divide caused by the White House visit, which has been transformed from moment of celebratory ritual to hyper-politicized event under Trump. And there was no sign of discord during the rained-upon ceremony on the White House South Lawn.
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The U.S. Marine Corps band played versions of “Dirty Water” and “Sweet Caroline,” two unofficial Red Sox anthems. A derogatory shout about Boston’s rival, the New York Yankees, was heard. Trump was presented with a Red Sox jersey with No. 18 on the back.
The day was not without mishaps: The White House first incorrectly labeled the team as the “Red Socks” on its website and then later, in an email, dubbed them the champions of something called the “World Cup Series.” But Trump himself stuck to the correct script, honoring the team’s dominant run to the title.
“Frankly, they were unstoppable. I watched,” said Trump, who noted that the squad had now won more World Series titles than any other franchise this century.