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Mitch Albom: Patriots Players Boycotting White House Is "Rude"

Mitch Albom: Patriots Players Boycotting White House Is "Rude"
Published On: Sun, Feb 12
Dec 8, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) scores a touchdown in front of Green Bay Packers cornerback Davon House (31) during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 43-37. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe its time to stop inviting sports teams to the White House. Its not a mandate. Its not a law. And when the mere idea of it launches a slew of political statements, it sure doesnt sound like an honor.

The New England Patriots, fresh off a Super Bowl win, spent last week partying, parading " and announcing how certain members will not be going to the White House to be congratulated.

I dont feel accepted in the White House, safety Devin McCourty texted to Time.

I dont feel welcome in that house, running back LeGarrette Blount told NFL host Rich Eisen.

Four other Patriots " as of this writing " said they would not attend. One of them, Dont'a Hightower, who visited when he was a college player, told ESPN: Been there, done that.

Now, I dont know about you, but if Im throwing a dinner party and a chunk of my guests make a point of telling people why theyre not coming, maybe the dinner party isnt such a great idea.

Yes, the tradition of teams visiting the White House dates back to 1865, when Andrew Johnson invited the Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals. But it was an on-off thing for more than a century, until Ronald Reagan in the 1980s began inviting everybody.

After that, teams from football to hockey to womens soccer seemed to enjoy the tradition. Photos were taken. A jersey with the presidents name was handed over. Most Americans said, Thats nice, and went about their business.
Respect and rudeness

But these days, few people just go about their business. Not when a statement can be made. So even though a dated invitation has yet to be made, some Patriots felt compelled to tell their fans how repugnant the idea was to them.

It is surely their right to do so as Americans.

It is also rude.

No one is asking them to endorse a candidate. And taking a photo with your nations elected leader doesnt mean you surrender your right to disagree with every single thing he does. Thats the beauty of America. In fact, the visit may give you a rare chance to express your views to the leader himself.

Read the complete news article here...

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