Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle has rejected President Donald Trump’s invite to attend a ceremony celebrating the teams’ World Series victory over the Houston Astros at the White House on Wednesday.
Doolittle told the Washington Post, that he’d like to celebrate with his teammates on Monday but he can’t “hang out with someone who talks” like the president.
“People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president,” Doolittle said. “And I think over the course of his time in office he’s done a lot of things that maybe don’t respect the office.”
Doolittle said that the president encourages racism and white supremacist ideology, saying that Trump’s “rhetoric, time and time again, has enabled those kind of behaviors.” The pitcher continued, “That never really went away, but it feels like now people with those beliefs, they maybe feel a little bit more empowered. They feel like they have a path, maybe. I don’t want to hang out with somebody who talks like that.”
Doolittle also hammered the president for his “divisive rhetoric” and “enabling of conspiracy theories.”
“There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country,” Doolittle said.
Doolittle stressed that the decision not to be with his teammates in celebration was not easy, saying, “I want people to know that I put thought into this and, at the end of the day, I just can’t go.”