‘Cancel Kurt Suzuki!’: Washington Nats fans divided over team's White House visit
Kurt Suzuki, the champion team's catcher, was especially open in his appreciation for US President Donald Trump, donning the signature red MAGA hat. When called to the stage, the president embraced Suzuki and said that he loved him.
He soon became the target of much anger, with many calling to “officially cancel” the Nats catcher and others condemning how he was “cozying up to a monster who hates people like me.”
One commenter on Twitter claimed that the MAGA hat was “a form of racist hate speech and an implicit threat of violence” and that “Kurt Suzuki should be banned from baseball.”
Another called Suzuki “an embarrassment to his family.”
Kurt Suzuki is officially cancelled— WORLD SERIES CHAMPS SHACK (@dcNATSHACK) November 4, 2019
Not gonna lie: having spent the past decade cheering on the Nats and the last several months obsessed w/ their playoff journey, it's pretty heartbreaking to see Kurt Suzuki and company go far beyond polite reception and cozying up to a monster who hates people like me.— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) November 4, 2019
Nah, these are the real Nats. pic.twitter.com/dRwUmxyaOy— Very Legal and Very Cool Elayne (@chatelainedc) November 4, 2019
I'd have rooted for the Nats to win the World Series if I'd have known it would lead to Nats fans cancelling the Nats.— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) November 4, 2019
First basemen Ryan Zimmerman presented Trump with a white-colored Nationals jersey with the number 45 on it, which some on social media quickly spun into a symbol of white nationalism.
A "White Nationals" jersey you say? https://t.co/aJtFhurFVc— Rob Arthur (@No_Little_Plans) November 4, 2019
Trump is fittingly the first president in history to get a White Nationals jersey.— Karl Safchick (me) (@KarlSafchick) November 4, 2019
Other fans celebrated the way the Nationals behaved at the event, some calling it “the best thing you’ll see today.” Another expressed how Suzuki doesn’t have to conform to left-wing standards.
Trump's reaction to Nats player Kurt Suzuki whipping out a MAGA hat out of nowhere is the best thing you'll see today. pic.twitter.com/HrkJ2K2GFr— Caleb Hull 🎅🏻🎁 (@CalebJHull) November 4, 2019
NO ONE can attack Kurt Suzuki for wearing a MAGA hat with Trump. It's racist if you do. These are YOUR rules, left-wingers.— Matt Vespa (@mVespa1) November 4, 2019
During Game 5 of the World Series, Trump had attended the game in Washington when the crowd erupted in boos and an eventual chant of “Lock him up!”
Eight members of the Nationals didn’t go to White House event, notably pitcher Sean Doolittle.
"I don't want to hang out with somebody who talks like that," he told reporters when asked about Trump.
Since 2016, several sports teams and athletes have refused an invitation to visit the White House, including the 2016-2017 North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team and a number of members from the 2016 Clemson Tigers men's football team, the 2016-2017 Pittsburgh Penguins, and the 2017 Houston Astros, who lost the series to the Nats this year.
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