Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle said he will not be visiting the White House on Monday when President Trump hosts the club for a ceremony celebrating its World Series title, he revealed in a new interview.
“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,” he told the Washington Post.
“My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘shithole countries,'” he added, referencing remarks Trump made in 2018 about immigrants coming from Haiti and some African nations.
“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. I just can’t do it,” he added.
The Washington Nationals were all invited to the White House to celebrate their World Series win last week.
Doolittle, a relief pitcher who joined the Nationals in 2017, told The Washington Post that he struggled with the decision to skip the White House visit, noting that he didn’t want his absence to become a distraction.
“I feel very strongly about his issues on race relations,” Doolittle said, and he listed the Fair Housing Act, the Central Park Five and Trump’s comments following a white supremacist rally in 2017.
Doolittle also told the Post that his wife, Eireann Dolan, has two mothers who are very involved in the LGBTQ community.
“I want to show support for them. I think that’s an important part of allyship, and I don’t want to turn my back on them,” Doolittle said. “I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. 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.”