On a bright Saturday morning, a good friend sent me a link to the New York Times (NYT) article on six New England Patriots team members probably not going to the White House to shake hands with the President. The article, for the sake of completeness, mentions previous instances in which some players did not go to the White House.
One does not know if the NYT devoted an article in those instances. But, we shall let that pass. Mentioning the past instances itself is a good thing to do. Let us applaud them for that.
This tradition, apparently cemented during the Reagan era, actually deserves to be scrapped. These are not national teams. Well, in any case, it is a President’s time-out, perhaps.
The players who have decided to opt out of the handshake and photo-op have, perhaps, failed to factor in a few things. NYT cannot be expected to highlight them.
(1) At half time, when no one would have given them a chance, the President backed them. Further, he also made two important and insightful observations:
(a) One must back friends
(b) They have won before and therefore they know how to do it.
Well, may be, it is good that these athletes take an interest in and take a stand at all. Alternatively, may be, these are shoutouts inside echo chambers.