May 6, 2019

Alex Cora Makes The Right Decision: "I Don't Feel Comfortable Celebrating In The White House"

Red Sox manager Alex Cora will not be at Thursday's White House ceremony for the defending World Series Champions. I applaud Cora for making the correct decision.

Five players - Mookie Betts, David Price, Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley, and Hector Velazquez - have also said they will not attend. Perhaps Cora's refusal to participate will spur other players to decline the invitation.

WEEI's Rob Bradford writes that Cora "confirmed a report in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dio saying that he will not be joining the Red Sox when they are honored in Washington, D.C. by President Donald Trump later this week". Cora spoke to the media after the Red Sox's win on Sunday:
It's pretty tough to celebrate when we're at where we're at. I would rather not go and just be consistent with everything. We talked about it and we decided this was the best way to do it.
Cora said that the Red Sox ownership group supported his choice.

The English version of Cora's statement in El Nuevo Dio read:
Puerto Rico is very important to me. During the winter I spent a lot of time back home, visiting my family and friends. 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 Maria struck. Even though the United States Government has helped, there's still a long road ahead and that is OUR reality. 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.
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner insists the Red Sox's visit is devoid of politics, but he could not be more wrong. It is impossible to divorce politics from a visit to the White House. Attendance at a ceremony is a tacit approval of the man living there. Werner said:
On a personal level, I obviously don't necessarily...agree with certain policies of the president. But when I go to the White House ... I'll be thinking this is an honor being bestowed on the organization. ... There's nobody that I've ever met who didn't appreciate walking through the door of the White House. ... You'd have to be a very insensitive person not to get a sense of pride and joy out of the experience.
Werner should perhaps expand his circle of acquaintances. (And he disagrees with "certain" policies? That comment leaves me wondering which policies Werner does agree with.) Regardless, he - and the Red Sox - cannot have it both ways. You cannot disagree with the inhumane, evil policies coming out of the White House and then go to that same building for a PR ceremony and come away unsoiled from the experience. It appears that Cora understands this.

About one month ago, Trump implied that Puerto Rico (which suffered nearly 3,000 deaths (a total Trump said was fiction)) did not suffer "a real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina. (Of course, after Katrina, the US government also abandoned its citizens.)

Trump lied when he stated Puerto Rico received "91 Billion Dollars" in hurricane relief. He has also called Puerto Ricans "ungrateful" ("Instead of getting a thank-you, we got a lot of bad publicity") and stated (falsely) they were not actually part of the United States.

Trump has insisted that all his amazing work has been diminished "by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible". Senator Edward Markey has stated: "Only Donald Trump could see the tragedy in Puerto Rico and conclude that he is the victim."


johngoldfine said...

Everything Trump touches turns to shit and is humiliated and degraded in some way--fast food for athletes serves as a tiny reminder. To describe as an honor any celebration with Trump is cognitive dissonance of the first order.

johngoldfine said...

Cora is letting his absence serve as his message. I realize he has to consider the likely reaction of the sort of fans who get off on military displays at Fenway, but I do wish his comments were more pointed and political. To say something makes you "uncomfortable" is not quite the same as saying he wants no part of shaking the hand of a racist, ignorant, bellicose fool and knave.

Jim said...

Off-days during the season are always near the top of the list of "contentious" items when the CBA is being negotiated. (Remember when Opening Day used to be in the middle of April?). Why would would a player want to waste one on this? It's always a political statement no matter who is President.

allan said...

I have to believe Cora never had any intention of taking part in this nonsense - from things he has said in the past, it would be bizarre if he was actually unable to decide - but obviously did not want it to be a story for months on sports radio and among the yahoos, so he held off saying anything until a few days before.

I do wish his comments were more pointed and political. To say something makes you "uncomfortable" is not quite the same as saying he wants no part of shaking the hand of a racist, ignorant, bellicose fool

Likewise (as I wrote), I'd like to know which of Trump's policies Werner supports since he said he disagrees with "certain" other ones.

Steve Buckley tweet: "Alex Cora has confirmed newspaper report he will not make the trip to meet the president. So basically it’s the white Sox who’ll be going."

Price retweeted that with this comment: "I just feel like more than 38k should see this tweet..."

One comment under that: "The President isn’t a King to whom we must pay our respects. The White House isn’t an idol we must worship. Refusing to visit is a perfectly American thing to do."

laura k said...

Thank you Alex Cora! Cheers for all the Sox who are refraining. I only wish more were.