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‘I can’t do it’: Nationals player declines White House invitation


Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle announced he will not join the rest of the team during their Monday visit to the White House to celebrate their World Series victory.

Doolittle, 33, the team’s closer, is the first Nationals player to decide not to go to the White House, but other players could follow suit.

“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. 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 told the Washington Post.

“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 said.

He cited race relations, racism, and gay rights as reasons why he doesn’t support President Trump.

“I think that’s an important part of ally-ship, and I don’t want to turn my back on them,” Doolittle added. “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.”

The Nationals, who have played in Washington, D.C., since 2005, clinched their first-ever World Series title in a winner-take-all Game 7. The president attended Game 5 of the series to many boos at Nationals Park on Sunday.

A number of other championship teams have opted not to attend the traditional White House visit.