BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Boston Red Sox Manager Alex Cora holds the World Series trophy during the 2018 World Series victory parade on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Red Sox manager is lying about Trump and Puerto Rico
By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Red Sox manager Alex Cora should be ashamed of himself. His decision not to visit the White House to celebrate the team’s World Series championship is disgraceful, puerile and insulting.
Cora has now become a Social Justice Warrior snowflake.
The reason for his boycott: To protest President Trump’s alleged mistreatment of Cora’s native Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The Category 5 hurricane devastated the tiny island. And 18 months later, Puerto Rico is still a mess. Roads are unpassable; vital infrastructure hasn’t been rebuilt, especially the electric grid; schools and hospitals remain piles of rubble; and recovery efforts remain stymied.
Echoing the leftist line of the local Puerto Rican media, Cora blames Trump for the island’s post-hurricane troubles. In particular, the Red Sox manager claims that Trump has done little—or nothing—to help Puerto Rico.
Hence, Cora says, he would not “feel comfortable” meeting the president at the White House. To show solidarity with the struggling Puerto Rican people, the Red Sox skipper has decided to take a stand: boycott the visit. He is joined by other minority players, such as Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Price—among others. Other Sox players (mostly white), however, are attending. Cora is the first manager or coach of a professional sports team to not attend the White House while many of his players do. He is making a political statement: Down with Trump.
Yet, Cora’s actions are not simply politically but racially divisive. By not going, he is accentuating the racial divide in the Red Sox club house. The manager’s job is not to sow chaos and disarray. Rather, it is to unify and boost team morale and spirit.
It was once commonly understood that when professional teams visited the White House to celebrate championship victories it was not an endorsement of the president or his policies. The event was ceremonial—not political. For example, when the Red Sox visited George W. Bush to honor their first World Series win in nearly a century, many of the players certainly didn’t vote for him or support the Iraq war. So why did they go? To commemorate their great victory and show respect for the office of the presidency—regardless of the current occupant—and homage to the very country that has given them the opportunity to achieve their dreams. By not going, Cora has slapped his team, Red Sox fans and America in the face. He is not just a pathetic whiner, but an ingrate.
Most importantly, Cora is wrong about Trump and Puerto Rico—blatantly wrong. Instead of neglecting Puerto Rico, Trump has showered the island with federal aid. He has authorized over $41 billion; more than $11 billion have been spent already. Which begs the question: If Trump has approved such massive federal assistance, what has happened to the money? The answer is simple—and obvious: Most of it has been stolen, squandered or wasted.
Puerto Rican leaders are notoriously corrupt. In fact, Puerto Rico is by far the most corrupt jurisdiction in the United States. As locals will tell you, corruption, cronyism and bribery are rampant across the island. After the hurricane ravaged the island, the countless water bottles supplied by the federal government were stolen. Local leaders and their surrogates then sold those bottles for $3 or $4 each to desperate Puerto Ricans, amassing vast illicit wealth. The same thing has occurred for the electric grid and road, infrastructure and school rebuilding contracts. The island hasn’t recovered due to Trump’s negligence or alleged indifference—or worse, “racism” as claimed by the radical left; rather, it is because of local graft, incompetence and fraud.
If Cora is really angry about Puerto Rico’s slow recovery, he shouldn’t blame Trump. Instead, the skipper should blame his island’s vile, odious political elite—starting with San Juan’s depraved leftist mayor. But that would take real courage. The easy thing—the politically correct thing—to do is to stick it to Trump and enlist in the so-called resistance. No wonder Sen. Elizabeth Warren praised Cora’s decision, saying she “admires” him.
Cora is more than a coward. He is an ignorant smear merchant peddling lies about Trump. It may ingratiate him with the liberals in Massachusetts and the Democratic media. But he is virtue-signaling and perpetuating a political fiction. The people of Puerto Rico, however, deserve better. They deserve the truth.
And if Cora isn’t brave enough to speak it, then he should keep silent, attend the White House and manage his team. The Red Sox are struggling this year. My advice to Cora: Focus more on baseball, less on politics. Shut up and play!
-Jeffrey T. Kuhner is host of “The Kuhner Report” on WRKO AM-680 in Boston. His daily show airs 6-10 am EST. He can be reached at: email@example.com