To visit the White House or not, that is the question.

Better question. Why is that even a question?

Members of the Boston Red Sox, including manager Joey Cora, declined an invitation.

Cora declined because he felt his native Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria and the present administration has not done enough to help in the recovery.

Other players also declined for political and personal reasons.

Now, stories have materialized about a divide in the Red Sox locker room.

Ridiculous.

First off, the organization, from owners on down, don’t really care that much if some go and some don’t.

Secondly, not every player on any team are best friends, so if some have different viewpoints than others, so be it.

Players do not even have to like one another, they have to play together.

Cora and the other players who do not visit the White House will not be treated any differently, and they will not hold a grudge against those who went.

The only reason this is a story is because of the controversy that constantly surrounds the Donald Trump presidency.

More and more teams and players have declined invites because they do not agree with Trump, whether it’s what he tweets, says during rallies or the policies he creates.

So what? Maybe they figure they don’t have to go to the White House to get fast food.

When you think about it, it is a little odd the president of the United States stops official business to congratulate a team for winning a championship.

According to the Washington Post, teams have been visiting the White House for decades.

The 1924 Washington Senators are believed to be the first title-winning professional team to visit the White House.

In 1963, the Boston Celtics became the first NBA champions to visit the White House, accepting the invitation from President John F. Kennedy, who was a Massachusetts native.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were the first Super Bowl champions to be so honored in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter waved a Terrible Towel at a ceremony inside the White House.

In 1991, the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins broke the ice for the NHL as guests of President George H. W. Bush.

The invite was less controversial in preceding years, and more of a photo opportunity for presidents.

Declining invites is almost becoming the norm these days.

The Golden State Warriors have not attended, and members of the Clemson Tigers declined, so why Cora staying home is a story is beyond me.

Like any ceremonial event, these are really non-events and should be treated as such.

I don’t really care if teams go to the White House or if some members of the team do and some don’t. It’s a personal choice.

If it were me, I’d rather go to Disneyland.

 

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.