To celebrate their 2021 World Series victory, President Joe Biden will host the Atlanta Braves at the White House on September 26th.
A few hours before the Major League Baseball team opens a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, the president will welcome the Atlanta Braves to the East Room, according to the White House.
“It’ll be a great experience,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’re world champions, and we get to go to the White House. That’s kind of something special to get to tour and experience that I think it’ll be something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.” Snitker has been with the organization since the 1970s.
Traditionally, the president often honors major league and sometimes college champions at White House ceremonies, typically posing for photo ops with athletes and leaving the venue with a team jersey. Ideally, these occasions are nonpartisan and apolitical, meant to pay tribute to the champions.
The previous administration, however, broke this tradition. After Stephen Curry expressed his concerns about former President Trump’s rhetoric and policies, for instance, the then-president barred Curry from attending a ceremony celebrating the Golden State Warriors’ NBA championship in 2017.
After Trump demanded that NFL players should stand during the national anthem, most of the players and coaches of the Philadelphia Eagles declared they would boycott the White House visit honoring the team’s Super Bowl victory. In response, Trump disinvited them from the event.
Since Biden became president, the tradition seems to have returned to the White House. The current president has so far hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The last time that the Atlanta Braves were honored with a White House visit was in 1996 when Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office, making this celebration 26 years in the making. Currently, the Atlanta Braves trail the New York Mets, who are trying to hold on tight to their one-game lead, in a hotly contested race to be leader of the NL East and have a shot at playoffs.