‘That’s the kind of division he fosters deliberately…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump hosted the world-series winning Boston Red Sox at the White House on Thursday night for a celebration meant to unify the nation.
But Ron Klain, who was U.S. Ebola response coordinator under President Barack Obama, made the absence of ten players — who all happened to be black or latino — into a racial issue, USA Today reported.
MSNBC contributor Klain, a former adviser to Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden, blamed the players’ no-show on Trump, stating without evidence that the president was “happy” Red Sox players decided not to attend, Mediaite reported.
“I bet he was happy today that he was able to say that the white players were here, and the players of color weren’t,” Klain said. “That’s the kind of division he fosters deliberately. It’s the exact opposite of what presidents, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, are supposed to do around these kinds of events.”
Klain said he was upset about the division.
Star players such as Mookie Betts and David Price, who are black, were among the no-shows.
“Look sports is supposed to be something that brings us together as a country, and White House visits of sports teams are supposed to be something that bring us together as a country,” Klain said. “And among the many, many sad chapters of Donald Trump is that he relishes in dividing us as a country.”
Klain made the comments during an MSNBC panel that included Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker and Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.
Walker also was disappointed in the division at the event: “Oh God, it’s so sad.”
While the talking heads were stoking racial division, a beautiful story was missed.
Outfielder J.D. Martinez, who is Cuban, attended the White House celebration with his father, Julio Martinez.
J.D. Martinez’s grandfather escaped the Cuban dictatorship on a raft in 1961 and brought Julio to the United States thereafter.
When Martinez brought Julio to the White House it was “the stuff of the ultimate American dream,” WEEI in Boston reported.
“I wish my father were alive to see this,” Julio said. “Oh my gosh, it’s amazing. It’s amazing I can go there. I came from Cuba in 1962 so it’s been a long road. I get to do it because of him. It’s going to be an unbelievable moment.”
Despite the positive stories that transcend race, the Washington Post reported in an article about the event that Trump “has sown and exploited deep divisions in American society.”
But Trump didn’t mention the players who skipped the event, let alone the color of their skin.
Some Red Sox players protested the event because, well, “It’s personal, bro,” said Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez.
“Everybody has personal opinions,” Vázquez said. “I don’t like to talk about those thoughts.”
Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said race did not factor into the players’ decision not to attend.
“We don’t see it as a racial divide,” he said. “I think to the extent that we can, we think that baseball is apolitical.”
Red Sox Manager Alex Cora skipped the event because he disapproves of Trump’s handling of Puerto Rico.
“I just don’t feel right going and celebrating while people are struggling back home,” Cora said.