The Houston Astros celebrated their first-ever World Series championship in November, a momentous night for Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa, who not only snagged the major victory but also got engaged to now-fiancée Daniella Rodriguez on live TV. Four months after the triumphant night, the winning team was invited to be honored at the White House on March 12 but star players Correa and Carlos Beltran were notably not present.
With both players missing, people came to question whether their lack of attendance was politically motivated. Beltran, who was also born in Puerto Rico, immediately spoke out, disconnecting his decision to skip from political motives. “[Trump] is the president of the United States,” he told reporters on March 13. “If sometimes we don’t like the things that he does, or we like the things that he does, at the end of the day, he’s the president. So [it] has nothing to do with that.” The now-retired athlete says although he’s disappointed in the government’s response to his native island following the damage left by Hurricane Maria in September, he’s simply spending time with his family in New York City.
Correa also dispelled any rumors of his absence having to do with politics, revealing that he was arranging a shipment of relief supplies to Puerto Rico on the day of the honoring. “It was not politics or anything,” Correa said, according to The Houston Chronicle. “It was just that the day off was perfect to be able to provide some help for the people in Puerto Rico in need.”
He added, “I don’t only represent the Houston Astros, I don’t only represent my family, but I also represent the American citizens that are living in Puerto Rico,” and thanked the President for the invite but not forgetting his homeland: “It’s an honor to be invited to the White House. I want to thank the president for all the help he provided to my second hometown, which is Houston, and some of the help he’s provided to Puerto Rico, but we’re still in need in Puerto Rico.”