Hector Velazquez will join a handful of Boston Red Sox players abstaining from visiting the White House, and he has a pretty straightforward explanation.
The Red Sox pitcher and Mexico native explained he won't attend Boston's trip May 9 trip to the White House to celebrate its 2018 World Series championship because of the insulting comments President Donald Trump has made about his home country.
"I made the choice not to go because, as we know, the president has said a lot of stuff about Mexico," Velazquez told MassLive.com's Christopher Smith in Oakland on Wednesday. "And I have a lot of people in Mexico that are fans of me, that follow me. And I’m from there. So, I would rather not offend anyone over there."
In his campaign to build a wall along the U.S. southern border, Trump has characterized Mexicans as criminals, drug dealers and "rapists."
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best," Trump said during a 2015 campaign speech, via USA TODAY. "They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Velazquez, who grew up in Ciudad Obregon in the Mexican state of Sonora and is Boston's only Mexican player, strongly disagrees with the president's characterization of his people.
"If people want to get to know Mexicans and the kind of people we are, I invite them to go to Mexico and see the people that are over there," Velazquez added.
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