Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle rejects White House invitation citing Trump's 'divisive' behavior
The Nationals were invited to visit the White House on Monday for a ceremony honoring their historic World Series win
When the rest of his team will be celebrating their win in the World Series at the White House with Donald Trump on Monday, Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle will be skipping the event altogether.
On Friday, Doolittle announced that he won't be accepting the invitation because he disagrees with the "divisive" behavior of the president. "There's a lot of things, policies that I disagree with but, at the end of the day, it has more do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country," the sportsman told The Washington Post.
Washington Nationals had clinched their first World Series title after defeating the host Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 on Wednesday.
He becomes the first player to confirm that he won't be attending the celebration that is due to take place on Monday, November 4.
"My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we've done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘s***hole countries,’ ” he added, referring to the comment Trump made while speaking about Haiti and El Salvador and a few African nations in January 2018.
"Even though I wanted to be there with my teammates and share that experience with my teammates, I can't do it. I just can't do it," he said.
While Doolittle respects his teammates who have decided to go, he went on to address some of the criticism that he knows he will be facing. “People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president,” he told the Post. “And I think over the course of his time in office he’s done a lot of things that maybe don’t respect the office.”
He said that his wife Eireann Dolan has two mothers who are involved in the LGBTQ community. "I want to show support for them. I think that’s an important part of allyship, and I don’t want to turn my back on them," he said.
He also referred to Trump's inhumane mimicking of a reporter's disability in November 2015.
New York Times' Serge Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition affecting the joints. "I have a brother-in-law who has autism and this is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands? I can't get past that stuff," he said.
Doolittle had earlier publicly spoken against Trump's 2017 rally in Charlottesville adding that his rhetoric has enabled racism. "It feels like now people with those beliefs, they maybe feel a little bit more empowered. They feel like they have a path, maybe. I don’t want to hang out with somebody who talks like that."
Trump did not receive the best of welcomes during the World Series. He was booed by Nationals fans as his re-election ad appeared on the jumbotron.