Former Red Sox Pitcher Supports Trump, Says Team Should Visit White House
Brad Penny stands behind the president — and believes sports teams should always go to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
While it is still unclear if the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox will pay a visit to the White House and meet with President Donald Trump, one of their former players publicly voiced his support this week for them to attend.
Two-time MLB All-Star Brad Penny (pictured above left), who pitched in the league from 2000 to 2014 (and spent the majority of the 2009 season with the Red Sox), recently made his thoughts clear on what his former team should do.
He’s supportive of a potential White House visit.
“You gotta go,” he told TMZ in a recent interview. “You support the president whether or not you voted for him. We live in a great country. I personally support Trump. He’s our president, like I support anyone in that office. I think they gotta go. It’s an experience they may never have again. So, in my opinion, you go.”
He added, “You can’t learn anything about them if you don’t go see them.”
Penny himself has some experience here. He won a World Series in 2003 as a member of the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins); and he went to the White House and met then-President George W. Bush in January 2004.
In addition to making clear he would visit any president, Penny also said he does not agree with leftists and never-Trumpers who would like to see President Trump fail as commander-in-chief.
“We want everyone who is in office to do good, you would think,” he said. “But a lot of people want Trump to fail and it’s unfortunate, because when [Barack] Obama was in office — I personally didn’t vote for him — but I wanted him to do well.”
So far, the Red Sox have yet to be invited to the White House and have not committed to a visit either way.
The team’s owner, John Henry, a known donor to the Democrat Party and owner of the anti-Trump Boston Globe, said last month of a potential visit, “I think we will. This is a special team. We’ll see what they want to do, but I think so.”
And after the team won the World Series, manager Alex Cora, who previously called President Trump “disrespectful” over a tweet about the Hurricane Maria death toll, said, “We’ll talk about it later on” when asked if the team would visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
At least one Red Sox player has said he would be thrilled to visit: relief pitcher Heath Hembree.
When asked about it shortly after the World Series win, he said, “Hell, yeah! I f*** with Trump!”
Both the Chicago Cubs (the 2016 champs) and Houston Astros (the 2017 champs) visited the Trump White House after they won the World Series.
But in other sports, skipping the trip has become the “trending” thing to do. In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles did not visit after they won the Super Bowl in 2018.
In pro basketball, the Golden State Warriors refused the opportunity after winning the NBA championship in 2017, so they were not invited when they won again this year.
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Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.