The White House on Tuesday belatedly honored the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the NFL’s only undefeated team, but three members weren’t there because of their opposition to President Obama’s policies.
“We’ve got some real moral compass issues in Washington,” Hall of Fame center Jim Langer told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel. “I don’t want to be in a room with those people and pretend I’m having a good time. I can’t do that. If that [angers] people, so be it.”
Former player Manny Fernandez won’t be traveling to the nation’s capital either.
“I’ll just say my views are diametrically opposed to the president’s,” he told the paper. “Enough said. Let’s leave it at that. I hope everyone enjoys the trip who goes.”
Former offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg added: “I want to be careful, because mom said if you have nothing good to say about someone, then don’t say anything. … I don’t have anything good to say about someone. … I just don’t believe in this administration at all. It would be hypocritical of me to be there.”
The players are well within their rights to decline the invitation, though their refusal to make the public appearance sharply contrasts some of their less discriminatory teammates who have hardly eschewed the spotlight, particularly in regard to their annual reminder of their unbeaten championship season 41 years ago.
The team met for a reunion in Miami on Monday night before heading to D.C.