Our thanks to guest author Caleb Backholm for this thoughtful, articulate piece. Used by permission. – Ed.
It probably doesn’t matter a whole lot, but I’m still a little saddened that the tradition of championship sports teams visiting the White House may be ending.
From the Super Bowl winning Eagles, reportedly fewer than 10, maybe fewer than 5 players had confirmed they would go. Today, Trump, probably to avoid potential embarrassment, cancelled the event.
In the NBA, stars from both the Cavs and the Warriors have said they won’t attend if invited, regardless of who wins.
I think the players are missing out. I know some of them don’t like Trump, and perhaps some of the rest are being pressured to show team unity. I don’t really know the reasons.
But I do know it was a fun honor, and I wish they would have chosen better. Politics isn’t everything. We can disagree on important issues, and still get together sometimes anyway. Can’t we?
I doubt there’s a player that disagrees more with Trump than I did with Obama. But I would have happily accepted an invitation to tour the White House and get a picture with him, if somehow I’d gotten one. Doesn’t mean I have to vote for him. What has changed?
Politics is important, but life is bigger than politics. Trump isn’t a monster. Obama wasn’t the devil. Maybe we don’t see eye to eye, but to quote an old tune, “there’s only you and me and we just disagree.” That’s okay.
I said at the start that this topic doesn’t matter much. But it does matter, a little. If we have come to the place that we won’t even come together and celebrate a sports victory, then that’s a true loss. And it’s a bigger loss than just losing a championship game. It’s losing half a nation. And that does matter.
I hope it changes.
P.S.: Today is the 74th anniversary of D-Day. Take a moment to reflect. Now would be good. -Ed.