As a customary honor to any professional sports team to win the championship game, President Donald Trump invited Word Series winners, Houston Astros, to the White House for a personal visit with him. While this offer has been used recently against the president by disrespectful players who grandstand his invitation with insults, the Astros decided to go. This seemed like a positive move until the opportunity was used to fulfill an ulterior motive for at least one of the star players.
For the most part, major league baseball managed to refrain from divisive political statements for their entire season, which is pretty impressive considering how long it runs for. There was the occasional kneeling or off the record remarks made about the president, but it all certainly paled in comparison to the NFL and even the NBA.
However, Astros infielder and reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve saved his big political statement until the very end, using the camera time at the White House visit to do it.
The Wildcard reports:
In recent years, some athletes perceive being honored for the ultimate victory in their sport by the leader of the nation as an obligation to approve or disapprove of the politics of the sitting president of that time.
So in that context, the Astros deserve some credit for agreeing to visit the White House in the first place. The trip required the team to leave its spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, early in the morning, arrive at the White House around noon and return to South Florida by evening.
“If you’re going to spend an off day doing something other than relaxing, I think the White House is a pretty good gig,” pitcher Dallas Keuchel said.
Almost all of the Astros who were part of the World Series team made the trip to the White House, but one of them who was there didn’t look too thrilled about it.
Infielder and reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve stood just behind the president during Trump’s remarks on Monday, but you wouldn’t know by the look on his face that he was being honored.
Altuve stood directly behind Trump during his televised speech and can be seen in plain view right over the president’s shoulder. His feelings were no secret as the scowl on his face displayed how he really feels about Trump, along with the rest of his body language. Altuve’s hands never left his pockets and his arrogant stance proved how ungrateful and irritated he was to be there. Despite this professional petulant child’s public display of how disgruntled he was to be there listening to a man he doesn’t like honor him, Trump still turned around and showed him incredible class and respect.
At one point in the president’s speech, he turned to the MVP who look at Trump with a face full of disgust, yet still referred to him as “the amazing José Altuve.” He then shook the irritated player’s hand and tapped him on the shoulder making the comment, “Much taller than I thought.” While the remarks the president said to the MVP seem insignificant, it was the fact that he didn’t break stride and the way he delivered it literally in the face of hate. He showed complete respect for someone who didn’t offer an ounce of the same to him.
“Altuve also stood out by not clapping with his teammates when Astros manager A.J. Hinch stated that they were honored to be there,” the Wildcard added.
Altuve probably thought that he won the passive aggressive fight he silently put up in front of everyone, but it was his enemy, Trump, who actually came out the hero. The infielder looked immature and classless, while the president was just the opposite, full of grace and respect. That kind of response in this situation is part of what makes a great leader and not the irrational, emotion-driven person that the media makes Trump out to be.
Proving that to be the case, was the overwhelming responses to his public temper tantrum from people unimpressed with this MVP.
The Wildcard continued:
A longtime Yankees fan, Trump told the Astros that as good as his favorite team was last season, “You guys were a little bit better.”
The Astros defeated the Yankees in the American League Championship Series on their way to the World Series.
Hinch used his remarks to celebrate the team’s diversity.
“When you look at our team, we come from everywhere, we’ve got some big guys, some small guys. … It’s a very, very unique group, similar to our country,” Hinch said. “I want the people around the country to fall in love with the Astros as much as our city did, and that’s because of the makeup of our team.”
The Astros’ media relations department said two players who did not attend the celebration — Carlos Correa and Ken Giles — each had “a family obligation” that prevented them from making the trip.
The best way to defeat this disrespectful and divisive attitude toward the president that public people use their platforms to display to the world is to not give in to it. Trump defeated the champion at his own game by being the bigger man.