Jackie Bradley Jr. is one of three Boston Red Sox players to publicly state he will not be present when his teammates visit President Donald Trump at the White House this spring.
Now the Gold Glove outfielder is taking to social media to explain his decision. Or perhaps more accurately, to correct people who he says incorrectly assumed his decision was politically or racially motivated.
In a message posted to Twitter on Friday, Bradley adamantly states that politics didn’t play a role in his decision. He goes as far as to state it didn’t matter if it was Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in office, he wouldn’t be going regardless.
Bradley’s full message reads:
“People have a right to their opinion and I respect that. Doesn’t necessarily make it true, but at least you get to express yourself freely I guess. I’ve been to the White House twice (2010 & 2013, yes, (President Barack) Obama happened to be in office both times).”
“Here is a monkey wrench thrown at the people who believe MY decision is political. I still wouldn’t go if Hillary was in office either. And for the crew that’s calling me racist, c’mon now, you obviously don’t know me. So now I’m curious. What else am I since I declined an invitation?”
Bradley originally confirmed his decision to skip the White House visit to the Boston Globe on Wednesday. In that article Bradley opted not to expand on his decision. He only said “I don’t get into politics. But I won’t be going.”
Reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts and third baseman Rafael Devers previously stated they also wouldn’t be attending. Several other key Red Sox figures, including manager Alex Cora and infielder Xander Bogaerts, remain undecided. All-Star pitcher Chris Sale says he will be making the visit.
We’re sure some people will have a difficult time believing Bradley. But as easy as it is these days to just assume every decision and every opinion is motivated by politics, this is a reminder that sometimes it’s not always that simple. Sometimes people have other ideas or other plans.
Bradley’s had plenty of time to think about it, too. The Red Sox were originally scheduled to visit the White House on Feb. 15, but decided to reschedule last month while the government shutdown was in progress. The Red Sox will now visit on May 9 after completing a road series against the Baltimore Orioles.
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