MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said that he wouldn't attend the White House's celebration of the Red Sox World Series win, and hoped that at least one of the team's white players would stay behind with his nonwhite teammates.
"I would not go to the White House in this circumstance," he said on Thursday's "Morning Joe." He was responding to news that while all of the white players planned to attend, many players of color would not. Sports champions typically visit the White House as part of a tradition that preceded Trump's administration.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, a native to Puerto Rico, refused to attend, indicating that he was upset with how the administration had responded to Hurricane Maria. "The government has done some things back home that are great, but we still have a long ways to go," he said.
"That's our reality. It's pretty tough to go celebrate when we're where we're at. I'd rather not go and be consistent with everything."
Scarborough added that while he understood the young players' desire to visit the White House, he wanted at least one white player to reject the invitation.
"I do wish that one white leader on the team would have just held back and said, 'Listen, I want to go — we'll win again, I'll go next year, but you know what, I'm going to just stay back with my teammates,'" he said.
President Trump has faced intense criticism from some in professional sports after he censured NFL players who refused to stand during the national anthem. The issue prompted pundits and others to accuse the president of racial insensitivity, given that players knelt as a protest against systemic racism in the U.S.
Several other sports champions — including players from the 2017 and 2018 Super Bowl-winning teams — declined to visit the White House. Trump himself withdrew an invitation to the Golden State Warriors, who won the NBA championship in 2017, after star player Stephen Curry expressed hesitation over attending.