One of the feel-good stories last week was the Washington Nationals winning their first-ever World Series. During one of the games in Washington, Donald Trump was in attendance and that bitch got booed by an entire stadium. The Nationals’ pitcher Daniel Hudson also missed Game 1 because he took paternity leave when his wife gave birth to their daughter. Long-time Washington residents (and beltway residents) were just happy. They were in a good mood because of the win, and they celebrated by calling Trump an “a–hole in the f–king White House” on live TV. The good vibes might have come to an end – Trump invited the team to the White House on Monday, thus beginning the near-constant debate about whether athletes are going to cosign this presidency by showing up to the White House. The Nationals’ other pitcher, Sean Doolittle, has refused the invitation, and he gave an absolutely righteous interview to the Washington Post about why he’s not going to the f–king White House. Some quotes from the piece:
He’s the first National player to say he won’t go to the White House: He is the first Nationals player to publicly confirm that, although multiple people close to the team said a handful of players are wrestling with the decision. He explained his reasons in a lengthy interview with The Washington Post on Friday night.
Why he won’t go: “There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country. My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘sh-thole countries,’ ” Doolittle said, mimicking when Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “sh-thole countries” in a January 2018 meeting. “At the end of the day, as much as 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 doesn’t mind that some of his teammates will go: Doolittle also noted Friday that he did not want to be a distraction for teammates who wanted to go for the experience of meeting the president. He added that they respected his decision, and he respects theirs all the same.
On race relations & the LGBTQ community: “I feel very strongly about his issues on race relations,” Doolittle said, and he listed the Fair Housing Act, the Central Park Five and Trump’s comments following a white supremacist rally in 2017. He also mentioned that his wife, Eireann Dolan, has two mothers who are very 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. I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] 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 doesn’t think it’s about respecting the office: “People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president. 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. The rhetoric, time and time again, has enabled those kind of behaviors. That never really went away, but 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. I don’t want to get mad online, as they say. I want people to know that I put thought into this and, at the end of the day, I just can’t go.”
It occurred to me as I read this piece that Sean Doolittle 100% deserves credit for being a woke ally, PERIOD, but let’s also be real: he won’t get even a fraction of the sh-t a black athlete would get for voicing these perfectly legitimate qualms. Donald Trump would be hate-tweeting a black athlete for saying this sh-t. Trump would be using words like “he should be grateful” and “he should go back his hellhole country” or whatever white supremacist dog-whistles are in vogue at the moment. My point is that Trump would have targeted a person of color in a way that Trump won’t with Sean Doolittle. All that being said, YAY, an ally. Sean Doolittle gets a f–king cookie and then some. It’s my dream that more white dudes feel this way and start to verbalize that sh-t all the time.
Photos courtesy of Getty.