The Boston Red Sox have accepted an invitation to go to the White House, and manager Alex Cora, who has been critical of President Donald Trump's comments on Puerto Rico, says he will attend.
"I'm gonna use my platform the right way," Cora said. "I'm not gonna embarrass anybody. Actually, I'm gonna represent 4 million people from back home the right way when we go there."
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy announced the visit Monday at a screening of the team's World Series documentary. He said the White House had extended the invitation and the team had accepted. No date has yet been scheduled.
In September, Cora -- the first Puerto Rican manager to win the World Series -- expressed frustration that the president questioned the death toll left by Hurricane Maria on the island in 2017. Cora called the president's comments "disrespectful."
"It's a little bit, kind of like, frustrating that the topic keeps coming and coming and coming," Cora said. "What's the point, honestly? And I respect him. He's the president of the United States. But I don't agree with a lot of stuff that he says about us."
Asked after winning the Series if he would go to the White House, Cora said he would use his visit for good.
"If you start looking at this team, we've got guys from the United States and from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico," Cora said at the Red Sox's championship parade in Boston. "So I'll use the platform the right way. I respect the president of the United States. And I know he helped our country."
Kennedy said the visit is optional for players.
"Like in the past, it's an invitation. It's not a mandatory command performance," Kennedy said. "It's a great opportunity for the players, an invitation for the players and ownership. It's a great opportunity for those guys to go to the White House and get the behind-the-scenes tour and get the recognition they deserve for the world championship."
Team visits to the White House after winning a championship have been routine since the 1980s. But after some Golden State Warriors said they would not attend Trump's White House following their 2017 championship, they were uninvited by the President. On June 6, when the Philadelphia Eagles attempted to send a delegation of only a few players, the White House canceled the visit. And on June 8, the President said neither the Cleveland Cavaliers nor the Warriors would be invited after winning the 2018 NBA title.