The 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox have been invited to the White House and will accept the invitation, team president Sam Kennedy announced Monday.
World Series champions are typically invited to visit the White House and meet the President as part of their celebration tour every year, as is the case with the other major pro North American sports leagues. However, with some teams and athletes electing to skip the traditional visit (or having their invitations rescinded by President Trump) in recent years as a result of political differences, it was called into question whether the Red Sox would attend.
The team put those questions to bed on Monday, saying they would visit the White House. Boston manager Alex Cora said that he would attempt to use the platform in the "right way."
Alex Cora will go. Promises to use the platform in the “right way,” representing Puerto Rico.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 4, 2018
Cora has been critical of President Trump in the past, particularly in regards to the Trump administration's response to Hurricane Maria that leveled Cora's native Puerto Rico in 2017. After Trump questioned the massive death toll reported from the island this September, Cora called the comments "disrespectful" but was careful not to get overly political.
"To be tweeting about 3,000 people ... it's actually disrespectful for my country," said Cora, who hails from Caguas. "We see it that way. I know probably he doesn't feel that way. And like I said: Hey, man, thank you for helping us. He went down there, he did what he did.
"I hate talking about politics and all that, but I think this is more than politics. This is about a country that really suffered. ... You see the hurricanes forming now. Everybody's panicking. It's not easy. One thing's for sure, and I told [the media] before, one thing I'm proud, we're standing up on our own two feet. Like, do we need help? Yeah, we do. We know that."
The Astros accepted the invitation after winning the World Series last year, but were without two of their players -- Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran, who both hail from Puerto Rico. Both players said they did not skip the visit for political reasons; Beltran wanted to spend time with his family, and Correa was arranging aid for Puerto Rico.
There's no set date for the Red Sox team visit as of yet.