San Juan, May 8 – Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora's decision to reject the invitation to attend the White House is a historic predecessor in professional sport in the United States.
For the first time, a team that accepted an invitation to the White House to share with the president will go without his acting leader, the Boston Globe newspaper reported today.
In the historical context they include NFL teams, Major Leagues, NHL and NBA, as well as collegiate leagues, which usually celebrate their titles with a visit to the White House. In the case of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, champions of the past two tournaments, have declined the traditional invitation since Donald Trump took office in 2017.
It should be noted that in 2006, Venezuelan leader Ozzie Guillén did not accompany the Chicago White Sox champions to his trip to the White House in February. At that time, Guillen rejected some kind of difference with President George Bush, and emphasized that his absence was purely due to a vacation with his family that was already scheduled and that prevented him from being in recognition in Washington D.C.
Cora, a harsh critic of President Trump's stance on efforts to help the country recover after Hurricane Maria struck in 2017, is not the only Puerto Rican who declines an invitation like this one.
In February of 2018, Carlos Beltrán and Carlos Correa – members of the then Houston Astros champions – did not travel to Washington for the exchange with Trump himself.
Cora announced his decision in statements sent exclusively to El Nuevo Día e ldomingo. In his expressions, the 43 year old Cagüeño expressed that he made the decision after "a lot of reflection, consideration and understanding of my loved ones".
His decision, as detailed, is based on his understanding that Puerto Rico has not yet recovered after the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
Solidarity the Red Sox
Despite the uproar caused by the decision of the leader in the news media and social networks, both the management of the Red Sox and its members reacted positively and in support of the Puerto Rican.
"Alex has our full support and we respect his decision," Red Sox vice president Sam Kennedy told the Boston Herald. "I know it was a difficult decision for him. I appreciate that Alex has spoken openly with our team and that he supports everything to those who wish to be honored on Thursday. "
The atmosphere in the dressing room of the Red Sox on Sunday, once the news came out, was a quiet one. There were no surprises because Cora had already expressed her determination to her players days before. According to reports, Cora communicated his decision on Thursday to the players.
On the field, the Red Sox achieved their third straight win by beating the Chicago White Sox.
"It's a personal decision and everyone respects that," shortstop Xander Bogaerts said after Sunday's game. "It had no effect here or outside on the pitch."
Bogaerts is one of the 11 team members who have expressed their decision not to attend the activity with President Trump.
In the group are also Puerto Rican Christian Vázquez, Mookie Betts -the MVP of 2018-, David Price, Héctor Velázquez, Eduardo Núñez, Jackie Bradley, among others.
"It's something we're proud of as a team," said first baseman Mitch Moreland, who confirmed he would attend the White House on Thursday.
"We respect each of our colleagues and the decisions they make."
Cora, a former player who in 2007 was an integral part of the Red Sox championship edition, also made history in 2018 when in his first year as a manager in the majors led his team to win the World Series.
He also guided Boston to set a record for victories for the franchise with 108 wins.