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“Very often when we are going through a crisis, sport brings us together to heal. So that we have the feeling that everything will be fine. It’s getting better, ”he said. “Feel, sense and experience something familiar for a few hours every day. Something normal. Something fun in the middle of the chaos. And to believe that we will get back what we lack. And we’ll come back to it soon. ”
The impartiality of Biden’s utterances, as well as the amicable terms of the Dodgers’ visit, differed significantly from the vast majority of ceremonies Trump hosted at the White House for championship sports teams over the past four years. Under the previous administration, such events had become cultural hotspots, often linked to the controversial subjects of politics, protests and race.
In September 2017 – a month after his infamous “both sides” assessment of the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia – Trump launched a day-long campaign against professional soccer players kneeling during the national anthem and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry won the NBA championship by attending a ceremony at the White House.
Curry had already hinted that he would not attend the usual event, and LeBron James – then with the Cleveland Cavaliers – responded to the controversy by calling Trump a “bum” who “doesn’t understand the power he has to be a leader ”. this beautiful country. ”
Trump also banned the Philadelphia Eagles from traveling to the White House in 2018 – the day before their scheduled visit – after it became clear that only a handful of players on the NFL championship team wanted to participate. And even before the 2018 NBA final between the Cavaliers and Warriors was decided, both James and Curry announced that they would not attend Trump’s White House for the traditional get-together.
In June 2019, in the final days of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, US soccer star Megan Rapinoe said in an interview that she would “not go to the White House” if the American team triumphed – which led Trump to attack her on Twitter and invites all players in the roster to “win or lose”. The US women’s team won the championship, but a visit to the White House never came off.
Although the Boston Red Sox, which won the MLB championship, took part in a 2019 White House trip, only part of the team performed alongside Trump in Washington. Almost all of the colored players skipped the ceremony, including coach and Puerto Rico native Alex Cora, who criticized the government’s handling of hurricane relief efforts in U.S. territory.
However, at Friday’s event, which was attended by California minority leader Kevin McCarthy, there were few signs of political discord. But Biden alluded to frictions within the first family and split loyalties between the second couple when it came to professional baseball.
“We have – if you are talking about mixed families – I have a mixed family and they have a mixed family based on baseball and sports,” Biden said of the vice president, who is a fan of San Francisco Giants. The second gentleman supports the Dodgers.
“I’m not going to mention this team in Northern California in the San Francisco area. And I’m not going to mention this team in Philadelphia, ”added Biden. “My wife is a Philadelphia girl from belt buckle to soles of shoes. And when I cheer on anyone but the Phillies, I sleep alone in the Lincoln bedroom. “