The Boston Red Sox will be visiting the White House, but their General manager, Alex Cora, will stay away in protest, according to ESPN.
Cora is from Caguas, Puerto Rico, and has often said that he represents Puerto Rico. In negotiating his contract with the Red Sox, he asked for a plane load of disaster recovery supplies.He also brought the World Series trophy home to Puerto Rico to share with fans on the Island.
Asked about his reasons for skipping the visit, Cora reminded journalists that Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria. “I don’t feel comfortable going to a celebration while we’re living what we’re living back home,” he explained.
Puerto Rico has not yet received most of the funds that were allocated for recovery from hurricane Maria. A recent Government Accountability Office report makes it clear that special procedures imposed only on Puerto Rico have led to crippling delays. In short, Puerto Rico has not received the same support states have.
The White House appears to be a factor in this inequality. President Trump has said repeatedly that he does not want to provide further funds for Puerto Rico. The White House said in a report that funds providing equal access to food stamps were “excessive and unnecessary.” Most recently, President Trump said that “Puerto Rico should be very happy” with the limited funds they have received. The presentation of Puerto Rico as an ungrateful charity case, combined with the slow response and large death toll of the 2017 hurricane season, has created resentment.
Red Sox team members Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Sandy Leon, Eduardo Nunez, David Price, Christian Vazquez and Hector Velazquez have also announced that they will not attend the traditional event at the White House. While observers have noted that these individuals are all people of color, while those attending the event are not, the team insists that there are no hard feelings and no disunity within the team. Management says that they respect the decisions of all the individuals involved.