In a case of sports and politics colliding, three members of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins have refused an invitation from President Obama to the White House for political reasons. In a report by the Sun-Sentinel, three of the players have confirmed they will not attend. Two additional players are on the fence. They asked to remain anonymous.
Hall Of Fame center Jeff Langer feels there are “moral compass issues” in the White House. Defensive tackle Manny Fernandez’s explanation was slightly simpler. “I’ll just say my views are diametrically opposed to the President’s. Let’s leave it at that.” he said.
Bob Kuechenberg reached back for an old adage to explain himself. “Mom said if you have nothing good to say about someone, then don’t say anything.” He went on to say that he didn’t belong there. He also felt it would be hypocritical for him to be there. Langer made similar statements.
“I don’t want to be in a room with those people and pretend I’m having a good time,” the ’72 Dolphins starter said. “I can’t do that. If that [angers] people, so be it.” Langer also told the Sun-Sentinel that he rejected the idea about a year ago.
Fox Sports writer Sam Gardener offered an interesting viewpoint in his commentary on the subject. Players turn down White House invitations all the time. However, no president would refuse an invitation to a player based on their political views.
I’m sure it will take some of the luster away from the 1972 Dolphins who do go. They will finally make their trip to White House to be recognized for their Super Bowl victory like proper champs.
The only undefeated team in NFL history is scheduled to appear at the White House on August 20.
“I hope everyone enjoys the trip who goes” Fernandez said.