WASHINGTON – St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and slugger Albert Pujols plan to attend a controversial rally on the National Mall on Saturday morning, with La Russa presenting an award to Pujols at the event hosted by conservative pundit Glenn Beck.
The Cardinals manager says his role, as well as Pujols', will be nonpolitical.
"It has absolutely nothing to do with politics," La Russa said Friday night following the Cardinals' game against the Washington Nationals. "Otherwise, he would not be involved. For anybody to look at it differently, they're making a big mistake. ... It's got nothing to do with politics with any issue on either side."
The rally has stirred fierce emotions because it is being held at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Pujols declined comment when asked about the rally before Friday's game.
"I see that it's got some notoriety," La Russa said. "But trust me, Albert's part of it is well-earned and I'm pleased to be a part of it."
La Russa weighed in on a political matter earlier this year, when he said he supported a much-protested immigration law in Arizona that has since been put on hold by a federal judge. He said he approved of the law as a matter of states' rights.