The Super Bowl champions will not be a team in the White House. We all know athletes visit the White House in honor of their win. Four players (Chris Long, Devin McCourty, Dont’a Hightower and Martellus Bennett) on the Patriots have announced they will not be joining their team in the White House. This is not the first time a Patriot has declined their invitation to the White House. In 2015, Tom Brady stayed behind as his teammates met with President Barack Obama. As of now, four Patriots have declined their invitation, but this list may grow.
They are not the first players that denied a White House invitation. We have seen this for many years, including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Matt Brik, just to name a few. Many players say they want to spend time with their family in the off season. Although, sources have found these allegations false the players never mentioned their political stance. The Patriots openly expressed why they would not be attending the White House, their reason is what makes their declination significant.
The four Patriots players openly say they will not be visiting the White House because they do not agree with President Donald Trump’s political views. McCourty stated, “ Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
This discomfort McCourty is referring to is how thousands, if not millions of Americans feel living in the United States under President’s Trump reign of power. Even though we see athletes as superior, in reality they are normal citizens. Professional athletes are not above the law. Therefore, they have to be aware of political decisions. Out of their uniform they are Black, White, Latino citizens; they are subject to prejudice bias just like anyone else. The problem is there is no equality in America and President Trump is increasing the gap rather than diminishing it. Evidently, President Trump has made citizens feel uncomfortable, thus creating a social disconnect.
This makes me wonder who is next? The NBA championship is right around the corner. Will we see the players deny their invitation as well? I do not think the entire NBA championship team will attend the White House ceremony, regardless of the franchise. What about the MLB? The MLB has a large population of Latino Americans; will they be comfortable to enough to attend the White House ceremony. I strongly believe the MLB, as a league, will take a stance against President Trump.
I think it is important professional athletes use their voice to speak on the behalf of ordinary citizens. These athletes deserve praise and media attention for their actions. It is important people realize American citizens do not just disagree with President Trump’s political views, people fear their safety.