Donald Trump decided he will show up a little late for Game 5 of the 2019 World Series and opted not to throw the first pitch, reportedly saying that the decisions were made in the name of enhancing “fan experience.”
Trump had announced already that he will be in attendance for Game 5 of the World Series as the Houston Astros take on the Washington Nationals. In remarks to reporters on Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that he talked to Trump by phone and the president decided to limit his public involvement in the game, USA Today reported.
“We actually had a conversation with him about first pitches,” Manfred said. “His view was that in order to make the fan experience as positive as possible, he would arrive at Game 5 sometime after the game began so it wouldn’t interfere with fans getting into the stadium.”
“Quite frankly, we were very grateful for that. We thought it was a great decision on the President’s part.”
Had Trump decided to arrive for the start of the game, it could have delayed fans from entering the stadium as security would need to be higher.
There had already been some attention on Trump not throwing out the first pitch, especially as the Washington Nationals announced that famed chef Jose Andres would be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch instead. Andres is known for his humanitarian work as well as his sharp and vocal opposition to Trump, speaking out against his policies regarding immigration.
Andres has been in a feud with Trump since 2016, when the chef backed out of plans for a restaurant that was at the time planned for Trump’s Washington hotel.
The chef thanked the team for the invite, though he said at the time that he hoped he would not have to make it.
“I’m humbled by the invitation, and I realize is a big big big honor but I really hope that by Saturday night all of WASHINGTON will be celebrating that the @Nationals are the 2019 @MLB World Series Champions,” he tweeted.
Donald Trump’s administration has stirred other controversy related to sports. Trump has frequently attacked NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem in protest. Vice President Mike Pence also walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game when some players made demonstrations during the national anthem, a move that was reportedly planned ahead of time by the White House.
Trump has even called on NFL owners to fire players who take a knee during the national anthem.