President Trump has invited the Boston Red Sox to the White House to celebrate their 2018 World Series victory [bitter words for this Bronx native to write]. The invitation has sparked controversy, with the Sox manager, Puerto Rico native Alex Cora, and all the players of color with the exception of one Cuban-American, announcing that they will not attend. All the white players are going.
On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough announced that "in the circumstance," he wouldn't go. Scarborough then expressed the wish that just one white team leader would announce that although he would like to go, he will "stay back" with his teammates of color.
So Scarborough has moved from being a sideline Trump antagonist, and is now seeking to engineer White House boycotts. Maybe Joe can organize a protest march on the day of the event.
Note: Scarborough did mention that he would "understand" if a 23-year old white player from Texas accepted the invitation, seeing it as his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the White House. Thanks for being so magnanimous, Joe.
There's a special irony in Scarborough talking about declining invitations to spend time with Trump. In 2017, President Trump famously tweeted that Joe and Mika had asked to spend time with him at Mar-a-Lago, but that he had declined, noting that Mika was "bleeding badly from a facelift." Some have speculated that Trump's tweet was a turning point in transforming Scarborough and Brzezinski into some of the President's most bitter critics.
Here's the transcript. Click "expand" to read more.
6:03 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Before I leave the Red Sox, I hate to bring this up, I need to bring it up. You [AP reporter and MSNBC analyst Jonathan Lemire] are going to the White House. They’re going to the White House, but it has become a very segregated affair for our Boston Red Sox, a team, again, let’s say it, in the past it's had some real problems with race.
JONATHAN LEMIRE: Right. So, championship teams when they go to the White House, traditionally that’s just a familiar ritual. There's a few bad jokes, athletic excellence is honored, the President gets a jersey with his name on it. What has happened under President Trump --
SCARBOROUGH: When Barack Obama was there, he’d take a shot, a basket, shot a basket and miss it.
LEMIRE: But under President Trump, they've become hyper-politicized. We have seen teams be disinvited, like the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia Eagles, because so many of the players said they weren't going to go. Even teams that have gone, have gone in much smaller numbers than they did when Obama, and other Presidents, were in office. And for this Red Sox team, it seems particularly fraught. The optics look, shall we say, a little divisive, because every player of color on the team is not going with the exception of J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent, and every white player on the team is going.
. . .
SCARBOROUGH: I personally wish — again, who am I to tell a kid not to go to a White House, the White House? I totally understand. I would not go to the White House in this circumstance. But, not to sound like Harold [Ford Jr., a former MJ regular who tended to see both sides of every issue], but I understand those who aren’t going and I respect them, and a 23-year-old kid from Texas that wants to go to the White House, it's the only chance he's ever going to get to go to the White House, I understand that, too. I do wish that one white leader on the team would have just held back, and said, listen, I want to go. We'll win again, I'll go next year. But you know what? I’m going to just stay back with my teammates.