David Ortiz won three World Series rings with the Red Sox. After doing so he twice met President George W. Bush and once met President Barack Obama. He tells WEEI in Boston, however, that if he were still on the Red Sox today he would follow Sox manager Alex Cora’s lead and not pay a visit to President Donald Trump.
And it’s not simply a matter of left vs. right or Democrat vs. Republican or a matter of “I don’t like him” or anything like that. Indeed, Ortiz says “I’m not saying everything Donald Trump is doing is bad.” Like Cora’s objection to the way the Trump Administration has handled hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, Ortiz could not abide meeting Trump because of a specific issue. Immigration:
“I don’t think it’s the political side of it. I think it’s more of what is going on,” he said. “I’m an immigrant. When it comes down to the political side of it I don’t know much about politics and things like that. But when it comes down the way immigrants have been treated it’s something that goes a long way. You don’t want to go and shake hands with a guy who is treating immigrants like (expletive) because I’m an immigrant . . . once you see what is going in this country based on being an immigrant or being black it’s something that goes beyond going into the White House and shaking hands with the President just because.
Ortiz, who became a U.S. citizen in 2008, can be said to have taken part in one of America’s most basic, foundational national experiences: that of the immigrant who came here with little but who, through hard work and his own talents, became a success. Trump, meanwhile, rose to political prominence in the 2016 election cycle via, primarily, an anti-immigration platform that leans heavily on not just a set of policy proposals, but on demonizing immigrants as people with undeniable white nationalist-style racial animus infused throughout, and has governed consistent with that style and that animus ever since.
It’s one thing to not like a president’s tax plans or foreign policy priorities or his domestic agenda, but when he singles you and people like you out like Trump has singled out immigrants, it must be extraordinarily hard not to take it profoundly personally. As such, it’s hard not to blame Ortiz or any other Latino player who chooses not to meet with President Trump.