A White House invite has become one of the more detested tickets in town since Trump took control of the Presidency and has gone to war with NBA and NFL athletes of color. Championship teams have shunned his invites and hes disinvited a share of notable sports champions in retaliation.
Trump abruptly uninvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles on the eve of their scheduled celebration this year, citing the small contingent they planned to bring to the event, and he has not invited an NBA champion to visit the White House since taking office.
Baseball’s official homer King Hank Aaron is a man of impeccable character who has accepted every invite hes ever gotten to appear before the President of the United States. On January 8, 2001, Aaron was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal By President Bill Clinton. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush in June 2002.
On Friday, however, Hammerin Hank said that he supports athletes who use their platform to speak about social and political issues, adding that he would not visit the White House today if he were part of a championship-winning team.
“Theres nobody there I want to see,” Aaron said at a ceremony for the “Hank Aaron Champion for Justice Awards” in Atlanta, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I can understand where the players are coming from. I really do. I understand they have their own issues and things they feel conviction about. They have a right to that, and I probably would be the same way, theres no question about it.”
Hank Aaron is a god in Atlanta and hes had grand parades thrown in his honor and his iconic stature is incomparable and transcendent.
The Home Run King & the Microphone Fiend ! Hank Aaron
Aaron embarked on his baseball career as a black man in the 1950s in the deep south and a 2016 film about Hanks life revealed that Aaron wasn’t always greeted so warmly by Braves fans. Instead, he faced bitter racism from his childhood in Mobile, Alabama, through his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record, where he received constant death threats and withstood vile and racist threats to his life if he broke the Babes record.
There is a gripping account of a young Aaron being sternly told by his mother to hide under his bed because the Ku Klux Klan was about to march in front of the family’s home in Mobile.
“They would drop a cross right in front of the house and burn it and keep going,” Aaron said in the film. “It was strictly intimidation.”
A pivotal moment in his childhood came when he skipped school to attend an appearance by Jackie Robinson. Robinsons words inspired Aaron whose tumultuous journey included playing for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro League and being signed by the Boston Braves in 1952. He was only 20 when he made his debut with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. Boston. Milwaukee. Alabama. Hank didnt have it easy with the type of cities he had to play baseball in as a Black man.
Hank Aaron is dropping gems. He tells the story on his famous train photo where he had 2 dollars, his sister’s and a satchel bag . Amazing stuff with our @kapaya1234 and Joe Simpson. #Braves | #ChopOn https://t.co/xPdaBeSFWv
Despite the setbacks, Aaron was named MVP when Milwaukee won the World Series in 1956, and he captivated the world when he chased down Babe Ruth’s hallowed homer record of 714 in 1974 and in 1982 Aaron was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Aaron has witnessed, experienced and overcome racism and governmental oppression over the past half-century and his respect for the flag and as a patriot has never been questioned. He supported Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and hes supporting any player who doesnt want to visit with a President that ignore their human rights and tries to suppress issues that are important to the players