Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price came under intense scrutiny after retweeting a claim by The Athletic’s Steve Buckley that only white Boston players are going to the White House for the traditional sports champions’ visit with President Donald Trump.
“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,” Buckley tweeted Sunday.
“I just feel like more than 38k should see this tweet,” Price said in his retweet Monday.
I just feel like more than 38k should see this tweet… https://t.co/BtbK0DNPQc
— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) May 6, 2019
The 33-year-old pitcher, who is black, understandably came under fire for that comment. Why make a photo op about race? How are his teammates who are visiting the White House supposed to respond to what he said?
For that matter, Price’s remark also put his teammates who declined the White House visit in an awkward spot. It pushes them to publicly speak out on race and politics when they might not want to do so.
It’s a dumb comment with no upside from a Red Sox player who probably should be focused on getting his team to at least .500 rather than worrying about who is and isn’t visiting Trump at the White House.
When his comment brought a backlash, Price backpedaled hard and issued the most nonsensical explanation for what he said.
“It was an insensitive tweet that needs to be seen by more people. That’s what it was,” he said, according to USA Today.
Um .. what? Why should an insensitive tweet be seen by more people? That’s utterly asinine. If a tweet is truly insensitive and offensive, you shouldn’t be retweeting it to your 1.8 million followers. Let it die with Buckley’s 38,500 followers.
It’s hard to accept Price’s logic at face value when the pitcher has dabbled in the race debate before.
Even giving him the benefit of the doubt, one way or another, the veteran pitcher was making a White House visit all about race.
You can agree or disagree with teammates who decide to visit the White House or choose not to go. It’s happened in administrations prior to Trump and will assuredly happen after.
But don’t make it about race. It’s a glorified photo op and nothing more.
For what it’s worth, in addition to Cora and Price, the others skipping the White House visit, according to The Washington Post, are Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Sandy Leon, Eduardo Nunez, Christian Vazquez and Hector Velazquez.
The rest of the team — including J.D. Martinez, who is Cuban-American — will meet with Trump on Thursday.
Regardless of where Buckley and Price truly stand on the issue of race and politics, it makes no sense to bring that up given some of the recent champions’ visits to the White House.
The NCAA women’s basketball champion Baylor Lady Bears and the NCAA football champion Clemson Tigers both visited the White House recently. Setting aside personal opinion on a fast-food spread, the players seemed quite happy to be there.
Oh, and both teams primarily consist of black athletes. So there’s that.
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