Donald Trump is not the first white man to occupy the White House who isn’t a fan favorite.
But he is the first one that has taken it upon himself to piss off the entire sports world.
That sentiment was proven factual on Sunday night when Trump was booed by the crowd in Washington D.C. during Game 5 of the World Series between the Nationals and the Houston Astros. Trump was introduced at the end of the third inning, and met by chants of “Lock him up!”
I’m sure Hillary Clinton enjoyed a good laugh. Karma can be a great comedian at times.
Some signs read “Veterans for Impeachment” behind home plate and a banner that hung from the upper deck read “Impeach Trump.” And according to the Washington Post, Trump kind of just showed up at Sunday’s game, as the Nationals didn’t officially invite him.
If we take a look back over Trump’s time in office, Sunday night was just a very public culmination of events in the sports world that have led up to this.
He’s feuded with some of the NBA’s biggest names. Steph Curry, Steve Kerr, and Gregg Popovich have all had spats with Trump. LeBron James called him a bum, and just a few days ago Charles Barkley told Vice President Mike Pence to “shut the hell up” for criticizing the NBA for its controversy with China.
In collegiate sports, the majority of men’s national championship teams in football and basketball pass on White House visits due to Trump’s politics or the backlash that some coaches know they would receive if they accepted the invite. They also probably don’t want to make the trip only to be served fast food.
Earlier this year, Baylor became the first women’s championship team to make a solo visit to the White House since Trump has been in office. And that only happened because Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey practically publicly begged for the invite.
When the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018, Trump bent over backward to celebrate them, even though the Capitals black players skipped out on the visit, as the roster was mostly filled with non-Americans and was led by a Russian in Alex Ovechkin.
And we know how Trump, and Pence, feel about Colin Kaepernick and the NFL, as the league and its owners have been getting punked by the White House for years.
But while people are talking about what happened to Trump on Sunday night, the conversation should be about where it happened.
Outside of baseball being America’s past time, it’s also a game that has a long history of being racist. It’s the game that’s most associated with Trump’s base. Baseball isn’t considered a “black sport”, which means that it wasn’t black people who were in the stands booing him at the game.
This season, Major League Baseball had an African-American population of just 7.7%. Of the 882 players on opening-day rosters, only 68 were African-American according to USA TODAY Sports. At one point this season, there were double-digit teams that didn’t have one African-American player. Just a few seasons ago, the population was at 7.1%, one of the lowest since 1958.
If a sporting event was ever going to be a sanctuary for Trump, then Nationals Park should have been his cathedral. But on Sunday night, it became his purgatory.
Before Sunday, Trump hadn’t been to a baseball game since 2017. He doesn’t show up to NBA games, and you won’t find him inside many NFL luxury boxes, either. He’s smart enough to stay away from places he’s not welcomed but is ignorant enough to try his luck from time to time.
Sunday was a teachable moment for Trump, as he learned something that most of us already know.
Sports is the one thing that has always united us, which is why ballparks, arenas, and fieldhouses will never be his territory.