Former Major League Baseball (MLB) star and San Francisco Giants player Aubrey Huff made a plea online for athletes and ESPN: “leave politics out of sports!”
“I miss the days when #athletes entertained us with the athletic ability, and didn’t bore us with their political opinions! I know the American sports fans will greatly appreciate it! Please @MLB @NHL @NBA @NFL @espn leave politics out of sports!” Huff wrote in a Twitter post on May 7.
In a video clip shared in the Twitter post, Huff said: “You know, I missed the days when athletes entertained us in the arena. You know, If I have to hear about one more team or organization that refused to go to the White House, I think I’m going to [expletive] puke.”
He said he’s “sick of” some of today’s athletes being social justice warriors.
He appeared to suggest, as with his own experience, that it’s acceptable to disagree with the president, but not to refuse the White House invitation.
“I have the honor to go to the White House twice in my career, and at the time President Barack Obama was there and I wasn’t necessarily an Obama fan. I didn’t like his policy, and as a matter of fact, I didn’t even vote for him. But I put my ego aside because why? It is an honor to go to the White House to experience the rich history of our nation,” he continued.
“Please, for the love of God, athletes just entertain us. And gosh, I gotta tell you, ESPN, it goes double for you. Can you please just report sports? I beg you, pretty, pretty please, I beg you,” he pleaded.
The video received more than 1 million views in less than a week.
I miss the days when #athletes entertained us with the athletic ability, and didn’t bore us with their political opinions! I know the American ???????? sports fans will greatly appreciate it! Please @MLB @NHL @NBA @NFL @espn leave politics out of sports! #aubreyhuffoffthecuff pic.twitter.com/B1U2VpLiPc
— AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 7, 2019
Huff made the remarks as the Boston Red Sox were expected to visit the White House on May 9 for their victory at the 2018 World Series champions. Some team member said they didn’t plan on joining the visit.
Take it all in @JDMartinez14! What a once in a lifetime experience to visit the White House, and meet @realDonaldTrump. You’re a class act, and a hell of a @mlb player. #proudamerican ???????? pic.twitter.com/3fZ8uUz0ru
— AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 10, 2019
Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn’t join the ceremony at the White House, citing the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico as the reason for his decision. He once said he might attend the ceremony, but changed his mind after speaking with family and friends.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts also didn’t visit the White House.
During Red Sox’s visit to the White House, President Trump honored the World Series champions with the Red Sox fans in his administration.
“It’s my pleasure to welcome to the White House the 2018 World Series Champion, the Boston Red Sox. A very special group of people. A very special team,” he said.
Trump praised the Red Sox as “unstoppable” over the course of the 2018 season: “I watched. You outscored your opponents by 229 runs and won 108 games in the regular season—the most in Red Sox history.”
Trump also thanked the entire Red Sox organization for their longstanding support for American service members who have suffered the wounds of war.
“We don’t see it as a racial divide,” the Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said after the team received a post-ceremony tour of the Lincoln Bedroom. “I think, to the extent that we can, baseball is apolitical.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.