Still riding high from their historic World Series victory Wednesday, the Washington Nationals are gearing up for celebrations around D.C.
However, at least one prominent team member won’t be taking part in a traditional championship celebration.
While the Nationals accepted President Trump’s invitation to The White House Monday, relief pitcher Sean Doolitle says he had to “respectfully decline.”
“I feel like there are a lot of issues, a lot of things that have been said, a lot of things that have been said by the president, a lot of things that have been done by the administration that I can’t, no matter what, I can’t reconcile with what I believe in, what I feel very strongly about,” Doolittle told The Washington Post.
“There’s a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country.”
Doolittle and his wife have been known to work with Syrian refugees, veterans, and support LGBTQ rights.
The Trump administration has been tough on immigration, cutting the amount of refugees allowed into the country, and rolling back progress made on LBGTQ rights.
“People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president, and I think over the course of his time in office he’s done a lot of things that maybe don’t respect the office,” Doolittle said.
On the night the Nationals won, Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to the Washington Nationals on a great season and an incredible World Series. Game 7 was amazing! @Nationals”
The tweet came just days after he was famously booed by the sold-out crowd of 42,000 when he attended Game 5.
Doolittle has said he will be in attendance for another celebration—The Washington Capitals will honor the World Series champs on the ice Sunday night before their game against the Calgary Flames.
“Hey @Nationals - #WorldSeries Championship party at our house on Sunday night see you there!! Kthxbye” The Caps tweeted.
“Can’t wait! Save me a seat next to @CapsPup!” Doolittle responded.
The Nats will also be holding a parade in D.C. on Saturday.
The Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros 6-2 Wednesday, leading them to their first World Series win in franchise history.
This isn’t the first time controversy has surrounded championship franchises attending the White House during the Trump Administration.
The Golden State Warriors, NBA champs in 2017 and 2018 declined visits to The White House, instead opting for a private meeting with former president Barack Obama.
When the Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series, the decision to visit The Oval Office was split along racial lines, with many players of color choosing not to attend.