Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks during a news conference after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. The Steelers won 18-16. Reid doesn’t believe the holding penalty on left tackle Eric Fisher that cost Kansas City a tying 2-point conversion against Pittsburgh on Sunday night should have been called. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)
It’s been said before but bears repeating: We’re addicted to outrage. And nothing (and no one) seems to light the fuse better than our current President. Some of that’s on him but the bulk of it, as I’ve observed previously (READ: Donald Trump Is Not the Boss of Me — Or You), is on “we, the people.” Whether it’s in direct response to something he’s said/done or to something his detractors have said/done, we do get riled up over any and all things Trump-related.
In recent years, this has expanded to include even simple things — like championship teams visiting the White House following their big wins. What was once a rather innocuous and time-honored tradition has become — if you’ll pardon the pun — a political football. Thus, whenever a championship is won, almost before the first player announces his/her impending trip to Disney World comes the breathless speculation/anticipation: “Will they? Or won’t they visit the White House?!”
It’s almost as though White House team visits have become a barometer of the teams’, coaches’, and fans’ politics (and, by extension, worthiness of praise or scorn, depending on which (political) team one happens to back.) Actually, forget the “almost.”
As noted in this Hill piece, following their 2018 Super Bowl win, the Philadelphia Eagles were disinvited by the President following rumors that some of the players were planning on skipping the event. And, “The NBA’s Golden State Warriors, whose players and coach have been vocally critical of Trump, have not visited the White House following either of their championships under his term.” Further, who can forget U.S. Women’s Soccer’s Megan Rapinoe’s loud and colorful insistence that she’d turn down any White House invite?
Thus, last fall’s visit by the St. Louis Blues following their amazing Stanley Cup win was rather refreshing — primarily because it managed to not become political. As I observed at the time:
A funny thing happened today: A professional sports team visited the White House…and no one made a big stink about it. None of the players made “bold” pronouncements on social media about their momentous decision not to participate in the time-honored tradition of championship teams putting in an appearance at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And to my knowledge, no one of consequence protested their being there.
— The Hill (@thehill) February 4, 2020
While speaking to reporters shortly after the Chiefs’ victory on Sunday night, Reid said he “hadn’t even thought” about the potential visit.
“I’ll be there. If they’re inviting us, I’ll be there. It’s quite an honor, I think,” he said.
Reid wasn’t alone in that sentiment. While some of the players expressed some skepticism and/or took a “wait-and-see” approach, he was joined in his affirmative response by Tyreek Hill:
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill also said he thinks it “would be great to go to the White House,” according to The Kansas City Star.
“I’ve never been to D.C., so that would be great,” he added.
(It’s a cool town, despite its swampiness, Tyreek — hope you enjoy it!)
Reid’s right — it is an honor, regardless of who happens to be the current occupant of the White House. I’m quite certain he’d have treated it as just as much an honor in 2016. Hopefully, cancel culture won’t rear its ugly head to cause a stink about it. Or, if they do, the Chiefs will take their cue from some who’ve recently weathered the cancel culture onslaught and basically ignore it, like the annoying yappy dog it is.
Meanwhile, it’s nice to see Missouri’s teams celebrating their wins graciously.