WaPo: Nationals pitcher declines White House visit

Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle has declined to visit the White House Monday for a ceremony honoring his team’s historic World Series win, citing President Donald Trump’s rhetoric as the reason he won’t attend the celebration.

“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 said in an interview Friday with The Washington Post.

“At the end of the day, as much as I wanted to be there with my teammates and share that experience with my teammates, I can’t do it,” Doolittle told the Post. “I just can’t do it.”

The relief pitcher told the newspaper that he didn’t want to be a distraction for his teammates who want the experience of meeting the President.

“People say you should go because it’s about respecting the office of the president,” Doolittle told the Post. “And I think over the course of his time in office (Trump’s) done a lot of things that maybe don’t respect the office.”

Doolittle told the Post that he feels “very strongly” about Trump’s “issues on race relations,” mentioning the Central Park Five, the Fair Housing Act and Trump’s comments in the wake of a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Doolittle, who