The Chicago Cubs won the World Series this year in “America’s sport” and with that achievement, they were invited to the White House for a meet-and-greet with the president. While other champion teams from different sports disrespectfully declined the offer, the Cubs accepted and went to the Oval Office for the honor. As they posed for a photo around the Resolute Desk with President Donald Trump, everyone immediately noticed what one outfielder did in the picture. When President Trump found out, he was sure to get the last laugh.
Wednesday’s visit to the White House wasn’t the first for the Cubs who met with President Barack Obama at the time he was in office. However, there were very stark differences between the two meet-and-greets, especially what was different between the pictures.
Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr and his other team members dressed up in professional business attire when meeting with Barack Obama in January while he was occupying the Oval Office, but opted for a much more casual look for this week’s meet-and-greet with Trump. While the president and those who support him can overlook that detail in the dress code, despite the clear message it sends of who they do and don’t respect, what Almora did was not ignored.
In an interview ahead of his visit, Almora told the Chicago Sun Times that was looking forward to meeting President Trump. “I just look at it as it’s not every day you get to meet the President of the United States,” he told the newspaper. “And in a year I get to meet two.” Some seem to think that it was the second president who he was far less enthusiastic about than the first.
The Chicago Times was on the scene with their city’s team to snap photos of the special visit that turned into what was allegedly a deplorable show of complete disrespect for our president.
The Daily Mail reports:
Albert Almora, Jr, the Cubs center fielder, extended his middle finger while standing just a few feet from Trump as the president sat down at the Resolute Desk.
Almora has his hands in his pocket, but the left middle finger is clearly extended.
The photograph was snapped by the Chicago Sun Times and later posted on Twitter.
Trump welcomed the manager and several players from the Cubs to the White House.
The president met with manager Joe Maddon and some Cubs on Wednesday, and he calls the Cubs a “great team.”
However, Almora has since come out swinging to defend himself against the allegations, claiming that he was definitely not flipping the president the bird, Deadspin reports. Whether he was or wasn’t, our president is taking it in stride and pretty much laughing the whole ordeal off because he’s such a good-natured person, which is pretty impressive. If the player did, in fact, flip him off, it definitely didn’t seem to get to Trump as some would hope. On close look of the picture, it appears that he actually has two fingers extended.
While the trip was completely voluntary, the motive to go may have differed among those in attendance yesterday. To have the opportunity to flip the president off in a picture may have been worth going for some, however, for Maddon, he was there out of respect for his team’s owners, the Ricketts family, who donated to Trump’s campaign.
“In November, then-President elect Trump nominated Ricketts to serve as deputy secretary of commerce in his administration, but Ricketts eventually withdrew from consideration because he was unable to meet ethics requirements related to his business holdings,” Mail Online reported.
The team gifted Trump his own Cubs jersey with the number 45 on it, representative of him being the 45th president of the United States. They are currently in Washington, D.C. to play against the Nationals this week, making double-purpose of the trip, although not everyone from the team came to meet the president. The Chicago Times reported that of the players asked if they were planning on attending, ten said that they were going to skip the visit, proving their dislike for the president.
While some immature players opted out, others who went saw it for the honor that it is. Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo said, “I’m going because it’s the United States of America, and I’d rather not live anywhere else except this country.” “It’s an honor. No political ties. It’s the White House,” he added, and that’s they kind of good sportsmanship more players can learn from — including those on his own team.