Boston outfielder Mookie Betts says he will not join the World Series Champion Red Sox when they visit the White House in the spring.
Betts announced his decision during his ceremony to receive the American League’s Most Valuable Player award, the Hill reported.
After receiving the award at the BBWAA dinner in New York on Saturday night, Betts told the media that he has decided to skip the White House visit saying, “I won’t be going there.”
The player did not elaborate on why he did not want to visit the White House.
The Sox were originally scheduled to visit the White House on February 15, but team president Sam Kennedy decided to postpone the event in part because of the government shutdown.
“You’ve got 800,000 federal workers who are not working right now,” Kennedy said last week. “Just not sure it’s appropriate to be celebrating in such a public way while there’s people who are struggling right now. So that’s been the internal conversation.”
The Sox scheduled the visit for May when they will be in the area playing the Baltimore Orioles.
Kennedy noted that the visit was optional for the players.
“Like in the past, it’s an invitation. It’s not a mandatory, command performance,” Kennedy said last year. “It’s an opportunity for these guys to get the recognition they deserve for a world championship.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.