For decades, the idea of professional and college sports teams visiting the White House to celebrate their respective world or national championships with the President of the United States was a foregone conclusion.
It was a tradition rarely ever questioned for any reason, much less, a political one.
That was, of course, until the President became Donald Trump, and anyone in the world of sports even remotely left of center began to push the idea of athletes boycotting White House visits simply because they disagree with the President on politics.
In fact, the Golden State Warriors made such a big deal about their desire to not visit the Trump White House, with star players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and their head coach Steve Kerr continuously attacking the President with the same talking points one would expect from San Fransisco Liberals like Nancy Pelosi, the President personally disinvited the entire franchise.
But while professional sports teams have led the charge against visiting the Trump White House, college football’s national champions have continued to visit the President without an ill word uttered.
Take the 2018 National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide for example.
On Tuesday, head coach Nick Saban – a guy awesome enough to place several calls to perspective recruits from inside the White House – and the Crimson Tide rolled into Washington, D.C. to celebrate their latest national championship with President Trump.
Apparently, prior to the visit, Coach Saban does what he does best – he laid out a plan for how his team was to handle the White House visit.
“Coach Saban addressed it and just said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this regardless of your political thoughts,” Alabama center Ross Pierschbacher said. “‘We’re going, just to celebrate this team. It’s an honor. And just to be able to say that you’ve gone to the White House is something that you can cherish forever.’ So that was basically the extent of that.”
And the players followed their coach’s lead.
“It’s an incredible honor for us to be invited to the White House,”Alabama running back Damien Harris said. “It’s something that comes with being national champions, so we’re definitely thankful for the opportunity.”
But while the stark difference between the behavior of 18-22 year old college kids and their grown, middle-aged professional counterparts is fascinating and worth noting, it was something that actually happened at the White House celebration that still has people talking.
According to a Tweet from WBRC News reporter Christina Chambers out of Birmingham, an inspiring moment occurred when the event concluded, as Alabama senior punter J.K. Scott and some of his teammates and coaches approached President Trump to ask if they could pray for the President and his staff.
What a cool moment! .@AlabamaFTBL JK Scott asked @POTUS if he could pray for him and his staff. Video below shows President Trump and Bama players praying after the Tide’s @WhiteHouse visit! @WBRCnews @BarrettSallee pic.twitter.com/tE4hj4k38l
— ChristinaWBRC (@ChristinaWBRC) April 10, 2018
President Trump also took to Twitter after the event to express what a “great honor” it was to host the national champs.
Today, it was my great honor to welcome the 2017 NCAA Football National Champion, Alabama Crimson Tide – to the White House. Congratulations! #RollTidehttps://t.co/hF5EZHlSVS pic.twitter.com/JfGue4IIs1
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2018
Saban, a six-time college football national champion head coach, also took time to express his appreciation for the White House visit and the President himself.
“You know, not many people get invited to the White House, so not many people get invited to see the president and meet the president,” Saban said. “So this is a special day for our team. A team that is being honored here because of their achievements in terms of winning the college football national championship, which makes me very proud.”
“A special thanks to our president to invite us here and make this a special day for us,” Saban continued. “President Trump, thank you so much.”
That’s the definition of class.
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Major League Baseball Considering Starting Season in Arizona During Coronavirus
The games will be played with no fans.
Major League Baseball is considering starting its regular season exclusively in the state of Arizona, with teams utilizing spring training facilities and the Arizona Diamondbacks Chase Field to play regular season games without fans present.
League officials and representatives of the MLB’s players union were reported to be in talks about the unprecedented proposal on Monday. The season was suspended in early March as the severity of the coronavirus epidemic became apparent, following in the wake of the NBA and the NHL.
Arizona has ten spring training facilities within fifty miles, all situated within the Phoenix metro area. Florida, the other state that hosts spring training facilities, has them spread over an area of 220 miles. Arizona’s warm and dry climate is also resilient to the spread of infectious diseases, and Americans have come to the state to improve their health for decades.
However, the proposal would entail games being played in empty stadiums without fans. Spring training facilities would be used, and the proposal would purportedly involve the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field hosting daily tripleheaders.
Longtime player agent Scott Boras endorsed the proposal when speaking with Fox News, arguing that the presence of Major League Baseball would provide a form of entertainment for Americans distressed by the historically unprecedented Chinese coronavirus.
“It allows for the immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it, provide Major League Baseball to America,” said Boras of the idea. “You talk to a psychologist about it and they say it’s it’s really good for a culture to have to have sport and to have a focus like that, where for a few hours a day they can take their minds off the difficult reality of the virus.”
In any case, there’s no chance of the season beginning in any capacity before mid-May at the earliest. But if the proposal is utilized, the MLB could be the first major American sporting league to resume operations in the wake of the coronavirus.
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