“It’s hit people hard in the New England area. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to be celebrating in such a public way while there’s people who are struggling right now,” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said over the weekend, according to the Boston Globe. “That’s been the internal conversation.”
At the 2018 World Series champions’ Winter Weekend event, Kennedy said he’d have a decision on whether they will make the February 15 trip to Washington, D.C. “pretty soon.”
"I’m not sure it’s appropriate to be celebrating in such a public way while there’s people who are struggling right now."
The government partially shuttered shortly before Christmas with President Trump and Democrats at an impasse over funding for a border wall. The shutdown has left some 800,000 federal employees off the job or working without pay.
Kennedy also said he knows of a “few players” who have already said they do not want to visit the White House. Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers has already reportedly said he plans to skip the upcoming trip, saying he would rather focus on spring training instead.
“The opportunity was presented, and I just wasn’t compelled to go,” Devers, the 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic, reportedly said.
There has been some speculation that Alex Cora, the team’s manager who became the first manager from Puerto Rico to win a title and fifth manager to do it in his first year, could skip the White House visit as well. He’s been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration’s handling of the response to hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico.
“If I go, I’ll represent Puerto Rico the right way. I don’t know what kind of platform I’ll have if I go … but we’ll see what happens,” Cora recently told reporters.
Trump’s controversial presidency has led many sports champions to forgo a celebratory visit to the White House during his tenure. Trump famously nixed a visit from the Philadelphia Eagles, who won the 2018 Super Bowl, amid controversy over the national anthem. He also withdrew an invitation to the Golden State Warriors who won the NBA championship title last year.
“My attitude is if they want to be here, it’s the greatest place on earth, I’m here. If they don’t want to be here, I don’t want them,” Trump previously said.
The Red Sox won its first title since 2013 and ninth championship in franchise history in October with a defeat over the Los Angeles Dodgers in October.
Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.