Carlos Beltran played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball before he won a World Series with the Houston Astros in November. He was chasing a title in his final years and got it with Houston. But if you think that means Beltran will visit the White House with his Astros teammates, you’re wrong.
Beltran said Tuesday that he’ll skip the Astros’ upcoming White House visit. Unlike athletes in other sports — namely Steph Curry in the NBA or Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long in the NFL — who have turned down White House invites, Beltran says this isn’t a protest of President Donald Trump. Rather, Beltran has a different reason: He’s “disappointed” in the U.S.’s response to the hurricanes that ravaged his homeland of Puerto Rico.
“No, I’m not gonna go. Honestly I’m not going. I’m going to stay with my family,” Beltran told reporters Tuesday in midtown Manhattan, where he was honored at the annual Thurman Munson Award dinner. “I’m going to be here in New York City.”
Beltran, the Puerto Rican-born player who won his only championship ring playing for Houston last year, said his decision to eschew the White House and Trump has nothing to do with the president, but earlier in the group interview, Beltran took a veiled shot at the leader of the free world when asked about the federal response to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico compared with the government’s relief efforts in Houston, which was also crippled by a different hurricane (Harvey) last year.
“There’s no doubt that I’m disappointed,” Beltran said of the federal response after Hurricanes Irma and Maria leveled the island last year. “I’m not the only one. There’s a lot of people disappointed. We haven’t (gotten) some benefits. Being part of the United States, you expect to at least get the same benefits when tragedies like this happen. The fact that we haven’t (gotten) those, yeah, it’s a disappointment.”
So while that’s a direct anti-Trump statement, the actions of the Trump White House are a part of what went into Beltran’s decision. Other federal agencies were part of the U.S. relief efforts in Puerto Rico too.
Beltran is one of Puerto Rico’s most famous and beloved baseball players, and he’s been on the forefront of baseball’s relief efforts there. He started a hurricane relief fund and donated $1 million to it. The Astros — who also have Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa on their roster — also delievered 240,000 pounds worth of supplies after Hurricane Maria.
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