David Ortiz Wouldn’t Meet With Trump, He Says

The retired Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi says that due to the president's immigration stance, he wouldn't meet with President Trump.

David Ortiz, retired Red Sox player
Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

The retired Red Sox slugger known as Big Papi says that due to the president's immigration stance, he wouldn't meet with President Trump.

The Boston Red Sox are scheduled to visit the White House this Thursday as part of the traditional visit with the president by the World Series champion. However, many Red Sox players will not be making the trip, and that includes manager Alex Cora, who announced that he was skipping the meeting due to President Trump’s handling of the hurricane in Puerto Rico.

Steve Buckley, a longtime Boston columnist, tweeted earlier this week that “Alex Cora has confirmed newspaper report he will not make the trip to meet the president. So basically it’s the white Sox who’ll be going.”

David Price, a Red Sox pitcher who is African-American, retweeted Buckley’s tweet, although he later called the tweet “insensitive,” per The Boston Globe. Price, along with several Red Sox players of color, will not be visiting the White House.

Meanwhile, a beloved former Red Sox player said this week that he would not be joining in the White House visit if he was still on the team.

David Ortiz, a hero of the Red Sox’s World Series-winning teams in 2004, 2007, and 2013, said in an interview on WEEI this week that he stands with the players on his former team who aren’t going. He specifically cited the Trump administration’s immigration policies in doing so.

“I’m an immigrant,” Ortiz said in the radio interview. “When it comes down to the political side of it I don’t know much about politics and things like that. But when it comes down the way immigrants have been treated it’s something that goes a long way. You don’t want to go and shake hands with a guy who is treating immigrants like (expletive) because I’m an immigrant.”

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Ortiz, who was born in the Dominican Republic, visited the White House after each of the team’s World Series wins while he was on the team, meeting with Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Ortiz famously took a selfie with Obama when the team visited after the 2013 championship. Ortiz became a U.S. citizen in 2008.

Known as “Big Papi,” Ortiz retired as an active player after the 2016 season. He now works as a commentator for Fox Sports while also having a behind-the-scenes role with the Red Sox organization, per NESN.

Championship team visits have become fraught in the Trump era. The Golden State Warriors, who have won the last two NBA championships, have opted out of visiting the White House. The Philadelphia Eagles were disinvited days before their scheduled visit after winning the Super Bowl in early 2018. Clemson’s football team visited the White House after they won the college football national championship and was famously served a meal of fast-food hamburgers.