Shawnee High School alum and newly titled World Series champion Sean Doolittle is skipping the Washington Nationals’ visit to the White House and president Donald Trump, the reliever revealed in an interview with the Washington Post on Friday.
“There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country," Doolittle told the Post’s Jesse Dougherty. “My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘s---hole countries.'”
“At the end of the day, as much as I wanted to be there with my teammates and share that experience with my teammates, I can’t do it,” he added. “I just can’t do it.”
The Nationals captured their first World Series title on Wednesday, beating the Houston Astros, 6-2, on the road in Game 7. Doolittle, an 8-year veteran, appeared in nine games throughout Washington’s postseason run, including three scoreless appearances in the World Series (Games 1, 5 and 6).
The 33-year old was a star pitcher at Shawnee High in Medford, whose career carried over into college at the University of Virginia and then eventually into the Major Leagues, making his debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2012.
With a reputation of being unafraid to share his political opinions, Doolittle is the first Nationals player to confirm that he won’t be going to the White House. But, according to the Post, other players on the team are also thinking over the decision on whether or not to attend.
The visit is scheduled for Monday, following the championship parade on Saturday.
The Post explained that Doolittle considered how little time there was with all of his teammates together before the offseason hits, but that he ultimately couldn’t get over his feelings toward Trump, his administration and their growing list of indiscretions. Doolittle said his teammates respect his decision not to go and that he respects theirs either way.
Doolittle also told the Post that he looked into how Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and former Eagles defensive end Chris Long (up until the Eagles got disinvited) approached their decisions not to go to the White House for their respective championship visits in 2018, before going public with his own.