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Sunday
Feb122017

ATHLETES VS. THE WHITE HOUSE

Patriots fans take note, Celtics Great Larry Bird did not visit the White House in 1984 snubbing President Reagan. Bird stated, "If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me."

In our Hyper-Partisan World, we also forget that the Patriots visited President Obama at the White House in 2015 minus Tom Brady -- in celebration of Super Bowl Championship. The tradition of great American sports teams visiting the White House has always been veiled in popular political culture. The prestige of the presidential visit has been subjected to political boycotts by athletes may times over the years -- drawing light on our amazing freedom of speech.

In 2012, Boston Bruins Tim Thomas refused to visit with President Obama alongwith the rest of the Stanley Cup 2011 Champion team stating, "I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People," he wrote. "This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country."

Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison chose not to visit the White House twice after the Steelers won the Super Bowl, denying both President Obama and former President George Bush — because he felt the whole idea of inviting championship teams was meaningless. "This is how I feel — if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don't win the Super Bowl," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, he [Obama] would've invited Arizona if they had won."

Our favorite former Red Sox, Manny Ramirez did not meet President George Bush for the same reason he did whatever Manny does, he just didn't feel like it. "I'm sorry [David Ortiz's] running mate, Manny Ramirez, isn't here,'' Bush said. "I guess his grandmother died again. Just kidding. Tell Manny I didn't mean it."

American golfer Tom Lehman declined to meet President Clinton, noting his Christian faith, instead referring to Clinton as a "draft-dodging baby killer."

And yes, the Greatest Basketball Player Ever -- Michael Jordan -- did not meet President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1991, noted in a famous Chicago Tribune headline, "Snub By Jordan Undermines Team." Jordan defended his decision, saying he wanted to spend time relaxing with his family back in North Carolina."As you know, my schedules have been very hectic," he said. "You guys have seen me, I've been every which way, and because I choose to take my private three days somewhere no one can call me, it's my prerogative."

The list will never-end because this is America -- it is our right to express our support or lack thereof to the resident in the White House, Patriots get used to it.

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