The White House website welcomed the Boston Red “Socks” Thursday, misspelling the team’s name prior to the visit that would celebrate the team’s World Series win last year. The mistake, which also appeared on the YouTube page livestreaming the event, was fixed not long after people started making fun of it.
Maybe this will serve to lighten the mood around a White House trip that’s whipped up some controversy around the team, about half of which is sitting out Thursday’s visit. Most notably, manager Alex Cora isn’t going. The Puerto Rico native has said that he won’t go to the White House because of the Trump administration’s abysmal response to Hurricane Maria. In a statement this week to Puerto Rico newspaper El Nuevo Dia, Cora said:
“Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting. Some people still lack basic necessities, others remain without electricity and many homes and schools are in pretty bad shape almost a year and a half after Hurricane Maria struck.
“I’ve used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten, and my absence is no different. As such, at this moment, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House.”
A handful of other black and Latino players are skipping the trip, including reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts. Mexican Pitcher Hector Velázquez explained why: “I made the choice not to go because, as we know, the president has said a lot of stuff about Mexico,” he said through an interpreter. “And I have a lot of people in Mexico that are fans of me, that follow me. And I’m from there. So, I would rather not offend anyone over there.”
Pitcher David Price, who is black, appeared this week to signal boost a tweet from a reporter who was calling out the whiteness of the Red Sox players making the trip.
After a few thousand retweets, he told The Boston Globe he wasn’t agreeing with Athletic writer Steve Buckley. Rather, he thought the original tweet was “insensitive.” Price will not be going to the White House Thursday because “it’s baseball season.”