At the White House Monday, Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki looked as happy as a kid ripping open his presents on Christmas morning.
Not because Suzuki just won a World Series. Not because he held the Commissioners Trophy. With a gleaming smile and outstretched arms, Suzuki donned a Make America Great Again hat while the president of the United States embraced him momentary in a hilariously awkward hug.
It looked like a scene right out of the 1997 movie Titanic. Instant flashbacks to Jack holding Rose on the bow of the ship came to mind. Even critics of the Trump administration couldnt help but laugh or, predictably, unleash fury over how the memorable scene transpired on the South Lawn.
TRUMP HUGS WASHINGTON NATIONALS KURT SUZUKI, WEARING MAGA HAT DURING WHITE HOUSE VISIT
After instantly trending on Twitter, Suzuki said in a text message to USA Today: It was amazing. That was the President. I was just trying to have fun.
Think about how ludicrous this is: A World Series champion had to explain to the media his decision to momentarily wear a hat. Apparently, a red MAGA hat is the new scarlet letter.
You know what? It was amazing. The pundit chatter evolved past the trite question of the will [insert sports team] go to the White House argument. As a country we had something else to spark conversation, as comical as it was, other than the partisan vitriol that so frequently divides us.
NATIONALS KURT SUZUKI CRITICIZED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AFTER WEARING MAGA HAT
That doesnt mean the anti-Trump conversation didnt exist. Seven Nationals players opted against going to the White House, including All-Star reliever Sean Doolittle, who publicly addressed his differences with Trump.
But the 2019 rags-to-riches, unlikely World Series champions taught us that none of them actually cared about the views of their teammates concerning Trump. Despite their differences as individuals, the Nationals showed that as a team, physical presence isnt necessary to support one another.
If the Nationals played another Game 7 tomorrow, Doolittle, if asked, would take the mound and throw to Suzuki behind the plate.
Without question, MAGA hat-wearing Suzuki would resume his responsibilities as a veteran catcher on the team and do his job. Who cares that one player possibly voted for Trump and another never would? On the field, they stayed in the fight. Off it, they remain friends.
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This is how it should be for all of us. Once again, the Nationals taught us a lesson bigger than the game of baseball.
Just like when the team was down-and-out at 19 and 31 in May and no one expected them to win the World Series, they clawed their way back to life. It didnt matter that the press called for manager Davey Martinez to be fired. The teammates didnt care about their minuscule chanceat redemption.
No, the Nationals persisted and clawed back to life to later win eight straight postseason games. They became the first MLB team in history to win all four World Series games on the road. The Nationals showed everyone that as long as you believe in your abilities, success is possible.
The Nationals proved to us that a popular childs song, Baby Shark, could rally an entire legion of adult fans.
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More importantly, that group of 25 men showed everyone who watched them that we can coexist as kind human beings even when we disagree politically.
If social media users looked closer and contemplated a bit more introspection instead of firing up Twitter fingers in outrage at Suzuki, they might reap the benefits of learning a thing or two from the champs.
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