Is it disrespectful for athletes to refuse to visit the White House? | The Tylt
At least three Patriots players are declining an invitation to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl LI win. Defensive back Devin McCourty told TIME he's not going because "I don’t feel accepted in the White House." Trump's supporters are criticizing McCourty and others for being unpatriotic and disrespectful to the office of the President. What do you think?
Is it disrespectful for athletes to refuse to visit the White House?
Three players from the Patriots have publicly stated they will not be visiting the White House with their team.
The Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower became the latest to bow out when he told ESPN on Wednesday, “Been there, done that,” having visited with a championship Alabama team.
Tight end Martellus Bennett told reporters after the Super Bowl that he would not go: “It is what it is,” he said. “People know how I feel about it. Just follow me on Twitter.” The outspoken Bennett had joked that he might move to outer space after Donald J. Trump was elected.
The Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty, a team captain, told Time magazine: “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”
This isn't the first time that an athlete has skipped a visit to the White House. In fact, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady skipped meeting Obama back in 2015.
So the 6-foot-6, 275-pound tight end who moonlights as an offseason author won't go visit Trump because he doesn't need to. Bennett and McCourty follow in the footsteps of a long line of athletes of many shades and political affiliations. The narrative of this era suggests that Bennett and McCourty, both African-American, be compared to Trump BFF Tom Brady, who passed on Barack Obama's invite after he'd won his fourth Super Bowl in 2015, citing something "personal," which apparently meant working out in Foxborough and hanging out at an Apple Store.
The fact is that it's the player's choice, and in the past, people were not so widely criticized for skipping out on meeting the President—Obama or others.
This is Donald Trump's presidential term, yes, but this is not a nation under autocracy and, as nightmarish as things may seem, it is not solely Trump's America. Bennett and teammate Devin McCourty, Americans who have issues with Trump, can do as they please, with no need to fulfill some overrated obligation to hang out on Pennsylvania Ave. McCourty even told Time Magazine that he wouldn't feel "accepted" at the White House.
Trump's supporters are up in arms over the fact that the players aren't going. They see this as the players injecting their personal politics into sports and it's just disrespectful.
To the left, nothing is outside of politics--the media is now pressuring New England Patriots not to attend a Trump White House reception— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 8, 2017
two new england patriots will not visiting the white house it is a honor to meeting the president no matter who it is— Colby Crider (@CriderColby) February 8, 2017
It's disrespectful these patriots that won the Super Bowl are saying they won't even go to the White House. Absolutely disrespectful— Garrett Vanderford (@TheRealVandy14) February 7, 2017