The Houston Astros recently accepted the invitation to the White House which led to wide variation of reactions. This issue has become especially prevalent in recent times following many of the NBA’s biggest names from Lebron James to Kevin Durant not only saying they would reject his invitation, but also calling him a “bum” and someone they “don’t respect”.
What many of these athletes don’t understand is that visiting the White House is an issue outside of politics. And it always has been.
Ever since 1865 when the Brooklyn Atlantics visited Andrew Johnson during his tenure, visiting the White House has become a well known tradition. To give you an idea that was 14 years before the lightbulb was invented.
The value of tradition varies from person to person, but what makes this an issue above politics is the way many athletes view the White House. It is not Trump’s house or Obama’s, Bush’s, or even Lincoln’s. The White House belongs to the American people, Trump is a tenant just like every other president was. Furthermore, the White House is an institution not a single person. There are 15 separate departments within the executive cabinet, it is anything but a one man show.
Visiting honors tradition, unity, and the accomplishments of these athletes. The problem is many athletes don’t view their issues with Trump as political.
That means they believe they are in a situation where their side is the only right side, when the reality is there is a giant portion of Americans that side against them. They see the way Trump has behaved as so horrendous that what they’re doing is the only response that makes sense.
I have disagreed with plenty of things Trump has said, but to name call, not treat him like a president, and purely dismiss him is neither right or logical. If athletes really want their stances and opinions heard they need to willing to join the discussion.
Throughout various movements in the country’s history nothing would have been done if you did not go speak with those in power from Women’s Suffrage to Civil Rights movement.
Athletes have enormous podiums and enormous influence so they should be educating themselves on issues they think are important, because the ability to simply speak does not not make them intelligent.
They need to find the issues important to them, not dismiss Trump as a person. He is president until 2020 either way. Nothing will change for the better on any issues with both sides refusing to speak. Dismissing Trump is dismissing the country along with whatever issues these athletes find important.
Ignoring Trump does nothing but bring personal satisfaction, and guarantees nothing but the elimination of progress on any front. Consider: