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Nationals’ White House Visit: Maybe They Didn’t Heal DC’s Political Divide After All

First lady Melania Trump laughs as President Donald Trump hugs Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki during an event to honor the 2019 World Series Champion, Washington Nationals, at the White House, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Kurt Suzuki wore a MAGA hat. Ryan Zimmerman praised President Trump for “for keeping everyone safe in our country, and continuing to make America the greatest country to live in the world.” The team gave Trump a jersey (which some people noted was a “white Nationals” jersey). The crowd chanted “Four more years“—it’s unclear whether this was directed at Trump or Stephen Strasburg. Yep, the Nationals’ visit to the White House got a little awkward for fans who booed Trump when he came to the ballpark last week.

Meanwhile, a bunch of players stayed home, including Anthony Rendon, Victor Robles, and Sean Doolittle, who listed his reasons for not attending in a candid Washington Post interview (e.g., “I have a brother-in-law who has autism, and [Trump] is a guy that mocked a disabled reporter. How would I explain that to him that I hung out with somebody who mocked the way that he talked or the way that he moves his hands?”)

Some Nationals fans were aghast:

Wait a second, wasn’t this team supposed to heal this city’s supposed political divide?

 

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.