MLB superstar Bryce Harper announced Saturday that he had no plans to attend Monday’s White House ceremony intended to honor the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals team.
While the decision was expected, this is the first time Harper had spoken about it publicly. Harper’s announcement came shortly after that of Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle. Doolittle chose to refrain from attending due to differences with the current White House administration.
“This hasn’t been an easy decision for me” Harper told The Brown Valley Observer.
“There’s been a lot of soul searching these past few days. I’ve done a lot of deep digging through a whole series of reasons, both public and private, and I’ve run through pretty much the whole gamut of emotions. In the end, I’ve decided to honor other contractual obligations, obligations which have led me to the conclusion that it wouldn’t be in my best interest nor in the interests of either the Washington Nationals or the White House if I was in attendance for this event.”
It is anticipated that several other players closely related to the Nationals will also be sitting out the event, including Ian Desmond, Wilson Ramos, Tyler Clippard, Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzalez. However, Harper’s absence is sure to make the biggest splash with the media. Considered one of MLB’s biggest stars, the 27 year old superstar almost single-handedly put the Nats on the map when he claimed 2012 National League Rookie of the Year and 2015 NL Most Valuable Player honors while wearing a Nationals jersey. Harper signed a record $330 million dollar contract prior to the 2019 season. He hit 35 home runs this year.
“Life comes down to decisions, and this is a decision I have made and will have to live with,” said Harper. “I won’t be at the White House with the Nationals team on Monday. For that matter, I won’t even be anywhere near the city. So, if you see or hear anyone shouting angrily from the bushes near the White House, it won’t be me.”