When the world champion Boston Red Sox visit the White House on Thursday, they will do so without their manager.
Alex Cora, who led the team to a title in his first year at the helm, announced in a written statement provided to the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia on Sunday that he will not join the team when it meets with President Donald Trump.
Cora, a native of Puerto Rico, mentioned the federal government's relief efforts after Hurricane Maria when explaining his decision.
"Even though the United States Government has helped, there's still a long road ahead," Cora told the paper, according to a translated version of the story posted online. "That is OUR reality. I've used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten and my absence (from the White House) is no different. As such, at this moment, I don't feel comfortable celebrating in the White House."
Cora said his decision was a personal one and thanked the Red Sox organization for respecting his position.
The manager, 43, is not the only member of the team that will not be in attendance Thursday. Red Sox players Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Christian Vazquez and Rafael Devers have also said they will not be attending the trip.
Veteran pitcher David Price announced last month that he would not attend, offering only "it's baseball season" as his reasoning. And relief pitcher Hector Velazquez said he would be absent because he "would rather not offend anyone" in his native Mexico.
As his players made their decisions public over the past few months, Cora had been publicly undecided. He initially said he would go, but he shifted.
"We'll see what happens," Cora told USA Today in January. "There's a lot of stuff going on right now as far as the government and the shutdown and all that. If I go, I'll represent Puerto Rico the right way."
Trump hosted the Baylor women’s basketball team last week and is set to host Masters champion Tiger Woods on Monday.