The relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals, Sean Doolittle, will not be joining his team in visiting the White House to celebrate their World Series victory, because he opposed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
Doolittle told the Washington Post that he is against Trump’s policies, but it is the President’s words that the pitcher feels do the most harm.
Sean Doolittle, a star Washington Nationals player, said he won't go to the White House when President Trump hosts the World Series champions because the president empowers white supremacists and mocks disabled people https://t.co/MgK2sfscYS
— NYT National News (@NYTNational) November 3, 2019
Doolittle Believes Trump Enables Racists
Doolittle said Trump’s rhetoric “enabled” racists.
”That never really went away, but it feels like now people with those beliefs, they maybe feel a little bit more empowered,” Doolittle said. “They feel like they have a path, maybe. I don’t want to hang out with somebody who talks like that.”
“It has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country.” Doolittle continued. “My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘sh**hole countries.’”
The baseball player and his family have actively helped refugees. When Doolittle was still with the Oakland A’s in 2015, he held a Thanksgiving dinner for 17 Syrian families.
Doolittle Believes Trump Mocked a Disabled Reporter
Doolittle got particularly upset with the President over accusation in 2016 that Trump mocked a reporter with a disability.
“I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and (Trump) is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter,” Doolittle said. “How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands? I can’t get past that stuff.”
Doolittle stayed away from social media during baseball season, but returned to Twitter to announce he would not go to the White House. Many fans said the pitcher was disrespecting the office of the president.
“People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president,” Doolittle replied. “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.”
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“At the end of the day, as MUCH as I wanted to be there with my teammates and SHARE that experience with my teammates, I CAN'T do it." Nationals reliever Sean #Doolittle said after rejecting Trump’s WH invite. He's FIRST player announcing he won’t visit.https://t.co/jPv5f4Yjta
— Kim Franklin-Magana (@InspiringU2) November 3, 2019
‘I want people to know that I put thought into this’
He said he had thought about this at length. Doolittle said he “put thought into this and, at the end of the day, I just can’t go.
“I don’t want to get mad online, as they say,” he added. “I want people to know that I put thought into this, and at the end of the day, I just can’t go.
“As much as I wanted to be there with my teammates and share that experience with my teammates, I can’t do it,” Doolittle concluded.