SNIDER: Nats don’t deserve shaming for White House visit

Rick Snider
November 05, 2019 - 12:14 pm
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Leave the Washington Nationals alone.

Seriously, the Nats united Washington like nothing since the Redskins’ 1991 Super Bowl championship. Everyone was happy. People wore red, spoke to strangers and went about their day happy over a World Series title.

That’s what sports is supposed to be – fun for everyone. Let’s leave it at that rather than create yet another battleground over politics.

The Nats accepted the traditional White House invitation for championship teams to appear with the president. Several players didn’t choose to attend given their disagreement with President Donald Trump’s policies and actions. That’s fine. They have every right to decide whether to attend.

But other players embracing the moment – and visiting the White House is a big deal no matter who’s president – are now being openly criticized to the extent that booing from the stands seems like kisses from the crowd in comparison.

Just stop it.

The internet has fueled hatred in our society that threatens to cripple our democracy. Nobody is allowed to have an opposing opinion because trolls can spew hatred without showing their faces. (Trust me – I get plenty of troll tweets because my Redskins postgame grades are different than what someone else would give. To that, I merely say post your own grades.) A century from now, society will likely view the internet for all its greatness as a Pandora’s box.

Ryan Zimmerman respecting the office of the president with gracious remarks should not be grounds for tweets by people declaring they now hate him. That Stephen Strasburg fumbled shaking hands with Trump isn’t cause for a Warren commission over his intent.

People are allowed to have their own opinion. It’s called democracy. We hold elections to pick leaders. That’s the greatest part of America – that you can have an opinion and at the end of the day majority wins while still respecting the minority’s view.

Somehow over the past decade, we’ve decided it’s all or nothing.  The danger is we’ll be left with nothing.

Cheer for sports. It’s supposed to be fun. Maybe the rules of fair play can spill over into everyday life.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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