Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon: ‘If You Get Invited To The White House, You Go’
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be a part of a group that revisits the White House on Wednesday, and he’ll do so with a smile on his face.
After the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in February – a bunch of Pats players made sure to let anyone who would listen know that would skip out on a visit to the White House. The same went on with the Golden State Warriors after the NBA Championship with a bunch of players including Stephen Curry stating they would skip out on the visit as well.
Maddon said to decline an invitation to the White House “absolutely” is a political statement, and he showed little admiration for such a stance.
“To go tomorrow is out of respect for the Ricketts family and to the office and the building itself,” Maddon said before Tuesday’s game at Nationals Park. “I mean, listen, I like the United States a lot. I like living here a lot. I like everything that it represents a lot. So when you get a chance, as a citizen, to get to go to the White House, you go. I think you go.
“And whether you like the person that’s running the country or not, out of respect for the office itself, you go,” Maddon said. “I don’t agree with all the other banter that’s going on right now, because I have a different perspective. I like living here a lot. I like this country a lot. And I would much prefer living here than some of the other places that adopt different methods of government. So I think sometimes that gets confused. People want to take a stand, not really realizing actually what we have here, which is a lot better than most everyplace else.”
The Chicago Sun-Times polled 22 of the team’s 27 players this week, finding that 12 planned to go on the trip and 10 would decline. Maddon reiterated several times that the trip was “absolutely voluntary” for players.
“I don’t have any rules to begin with,” he said. “I just want you to run hard to first base. As long as you run hard to first base, they can make up their own mind whether they want to go to the White House or not. As long as my pitchers work on defense, they can do whatever they want tomorrow. And furthermore, not having to wear a suit I think is the best part of this whole trip, because to me, to have to dress a certain way to impress somebody, my God, nobody would ever fail. So I’m all about all of the circumstances right now.”