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Is there any excuse to miss a White House event with your teammates?

Street Talk Is there any excuse to miss a White House event with your teammates?

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On Wednesday, the 2012 Baltimore Ravens became the 27th team to participate in the tradition of visiting the White House and meeting the President of the United States after winning the Super Bowl.

Entering inside the White House gates is an honor itself, but meeting the President of the United States is something that should not be taken for granted, regardless of political party affiliation.

If the Commander in Chief invites you into his home, you go. No ifs, ands or buts about it. However, former Ravens, including wide receiver Anquan Boldin, safety Bernard Pollard, cornerback Cary Williams, linebacker Paul Kruger and center Matt Birk did not attend Wednesday.

Being a Super Bowl champion is a bond that these players will forever share amongst each other. The White House tradition and the ring ceremony are two events that you simply do not miss. This isn’t just an individual event like a high school or college graduation – this is a team event, as champions. From Day 1, head coach John Harbaugh has always preached, “The Team, The Team, The Team” to each one of them.

So why miss out?

In cases of Boldin, Williams and Kruger, they all had mandatory OTA practices with their new teams. While Williams (Philadelphia) and Kruger (Cleveland) are just short flights away, Boldin (San Francisco) would have had to travel across the country. If it were just for the White House event, that’s understandable, but the ring ceremony will take place on Friday evening.

Those occasions combined are well worth a nationwide trip – one that the coaches would likely allow (especially considering who his head coach is) even though you’d be missing “mandatory” practices. Every one of those players on other teams have probably been told that their championship leads to them having greater experience that they can pass down to younger players.

Then there comes the case of Pollard.

Pollard joined 105.7 The Fan on May 15th and stated that he, “just didn’t want to be in the room with certain people.” Even though Pollard’s disagreements with the Ravens front office are no secret, Pollard should be man enough to face them and at least ignore them and speak to the 53 other people in the room: the brotherhood, the team, that he rallied around and won a championship with.

I don’t want to be one to beat up on Pollard because I really liked him as a player. Sure, his hard hits were risky and detrimental to the team and his bank account at times, but it was one of those hits that propelled the Ravens to the Super Bowl in the first place. When Pollard collided with Patriots running back Stevan Ridley in the AFC Championship Game, knocking him unconscious and forcing a fumble as Ridley’s wet noodle of a body hit the ground, that was a major turning point in the game.

To each their own in their personal decisions in life, but I’m just a little baffled as to why you wouldn’t want to attend an event like this. It’s not like championships are guaranteed – how many of those who didn’t attend will get another such chance?

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Kris Jones

About Kris Jones

Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series Goobvision propelled his career and notoriety amongst Ravens fans, even helping him win the 2010 nationwide DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan contest. He's been featured on shows such as The Jim Rome Show, ProFootballTalk Live, The Sirius XM Blitz with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, Sirius XM's MadDog Radio, The Michael Irvin Show, Tony Bruno Show, Two Live Stews and FoxSports.com to name a few (or is that a lot?). He's caught a touchdown pass from Warren Moon during a flag football game and hates the Pittsburgh Steelers more than anyone else on the face of the earth. Twitter: RavenManiac  More from Kris Jones
39 comments
mike
mike

Your English Teacher: go back to sleep you Nit-wit!

mike
mike

No, your wrong . This country is no more then a up tempo banana republic thanks to Obama and the idiots who put him in. If can come back. but for now its a sleep at the wheel.

Your English Teacher
Your English Teacher

Ugh. I have a general rule in life that one should never read the comments below any article on the internet. Until now, RSR was an exception to that rule. No more.

HollywoodHeiz
HollywoodHeiz

The 27th Super Bowl Champion to visit the White House. Wow what a honor. Almost as much as hosting opening night of the NFL season in front of a national audience. I guess some traditions are made to be broken. We acknowledge it, agree or disagree, then move on.

Bob
Bob

Its about having respect for the office of the President of the USA, not the man himself! It is a great institution and a great country, regardless of the individual. They all should have attended in my view, but its a free country thank God, so its a personal choice nonetheless

jake
jake

This guy Obama is worse and more corrupt then Nixon. Just look at all the scandals that just broke. If I was a Raven, and didn’t agree with this bozzo, I wouldn’t share any type of stage with him ether. Maybe Steve doesn’t want Obama to sick the IRS on him, so He stayed home.

Grey
Grey

BTW Goob...way to bring out the "Wing Nuts",and devolve any meaning you intended into a "Tea Party".

Matt
Matt

I find it either extremely ironic or extremely ill informed that you forgot to mention the owner of the team did not attend. Lets hear you talk about him the same way you talk about pollard. Kinda funny how people say its classless for him not to be there and he's an asshole for sticking to his guns about not wanting to be around harbs but you don't seem to care that the most important person in that organization stuck to his guns (I'm assuming here) and didn't visit bc he doesn't agree w Obama politics....

BMann
BMann

It's not just meeting the President: It's getting a private tour of the People's House! I'm a lifelong Dem, who disliked the policies of George W. Bush probably as much or more than conservatives dislike Obama's. But if President Bush had invited me to the WH for something akin to a championship celebration with my brothers, complete with WH tour, I'd have been there with bells on. Respect the Office, if not its current occupant. We're all AMERICANS, and getting to spend some time with our elected leader (in the White House!) would be an honor, regardless of who is presently holding the position. That would be my thinking, anyway. And seeing the pics of our Ravens happily frolicking in the various rooms of the WH, they seemed to feel the same way - surely these very rich guys aren't all Dems! ;)

Grob
Grob

I didn't see McKinnie, Doss...????

darren
darren

maybe he felt like he got snubbed by the ravens.....maybe he did....he can do what he wants....as far as the white house goes.....who cares?? who the hell are they anyway? politicians are paid liars,,,,they can all kiss my ass!!!

Joe
Joe

and this has quickly converted into a political debate...

Kevin
Kevin

The owner of the Team didn't even show, you didn't mention that????

karl
karl

I don't agree with Obama at all nor his liberal agenda. I don't share his views on gay marriage (which is an abomination) and abortion which is murder. But that wouldn't keep me from attending the white house. Pride goeth before destruction.

Nevin
Nevin

Any idea why Matt Birk didnt attend?

Kevin Allen
Kevin Allen

noun 1. honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor. verb (used with object) 13. to hold in honor or high respect; revere: Integrity, Hold in High Honor or RESPECT......Really? THAT GUY has none. But for you to say or tell me or anyone (PLAYERS) meeting the President of the United States is something that should not be taken for granted, regardless of political party affiliation. Is pure BS. We all can think for ourselves.....You or the Gov't doesn't think for us. It's called FREEDOM. If I'd had been part of that team...I would have not gone...PERIOD! I don't need to have someone tell me what we as a team accomplished was Great. In that Lockeroom after the Super Bowl and every time we'd get together as a team from that time forward....is all the adulation I'd need, knowing that I had a part, a spoke in the wheel to achieving greatness. But to go to the White House and listen to someone I have NO RESPECT for at all. It's not happening. Besides I've been there and done that 8x. With Men who acted like a President.....they led not blame.

Frank
Frank

Remember that meeting President Obama isn't necessarily on the top of everyone's list. I don't want to start a political argument on a sports blog, but personal politics of the players could also play a role in their decision to attend.

Mill
Mill

I don't think that is why Steve wasn't there. I am assuming he isn't a fan Stephanie Rawlings- Blake either, and he participated in the parade and sendoff, which she was apart of. My issue with Pollard isn't even that he didn't attend. If you don't want to be there, don't show up but don't put the team on blast on the radio and declare weeks in advance that you will not participate. I didn't like that he made a big stink of it.

Mill
Mill

I don't know Harbs political opinions but from what I do know about him, he doesn't strike me as the type of person that would agree with the president politically. But look at how giddy he was to be there. Look at his reaction right after the Superbowl when Obama called him and Ozzie on the phone. Harbs would have had the exact same attitude if it was Romney or McCain inviting him in. I believe that is how any true American should approach being invited to the WH. It is the essence of what makes this country great, that we can have these different opinions and not be persecuted for them. I am not an Obama fan, as a political leader but he seems like a cool guy that I wouldn't mind having a beer and talking sports with.

Boldin Raver
Boldin Raver

Not a fan of Obama's but agree with you completely. It's the office, and that office is honoring a sports accomplishment that is so meaningful to millions of Americans it has political significance. I think player who don't go are missing the bigger picture. Putting themselves aside, at least a little, is something that football players must do to succeed on almost every down. Why not here? I see players like Krugs saying that they have to show their commitment to their current team. But I bet he'll wear that ring, right?

TheChuck
TheChuck

Michelle Obama took McKinnie aside to speak about his weight. :)

Jim
Jim

"I wasn't there," Birk told KFAN in Minnesota. "I would say that I have great respect for the office of the Presidency, but about five or six weeks ago, our President made a comment in a speech and he said, 'God bless Planned Parenthood.' "Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic, I am active in the Pro-Life movement and I just felt like I couldn't deal with that. I couldn't endorse that in any way. I'm very confused by [Obama's] statement. For God to bless a place where they're ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend." http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/ravens-insider/bal-matt-birk-skipped-white-house-visit-due-to-his-prolife-stance-20130606,0,4383788.story#ixzz2VXIoU1w6

Tangie
Tangie

Yup! I could say the same about George W., and I'd still have gone to the WH with bells on to shake his hand and bask in the glow just as our first SB winners had doe in 2001. Some people just can see pass their own beliefs and politics. That is troubling to me.

minz
minz

Amen....

Tucker: M&T Sec 527
Tucker: M&T Sec 527

He was on the record as anti-gay marriage in his former home of Minnesota. He probably leans to the right on other issues, as well. Whatev'... but dissing the Ravens' aspect of the event because it involves a legally elected (TWICE!) POTUS who you don't personally care for tells me he forgets that his Ring is due to being signed as a free agent by the Baltimore Ravens!! Methinks the Vikings are still waiting on their first Super Bowl Ring of the new century.

paulie
paulie

You are right Kevin in that you do have the 'freedom' not to go. But understand that in making that decision you have said nothing about whomever it is that presently occupies the office and spoken volumes about yourself. You disrespect the Office of President of the United States, the White House as an American symbol, the NFL, the Ravens Organization, all your team mates and the very accomplishment of Super Bowl Champions itself. And I have every right to think so much less of you for that.

karl
karl

Agree with most of your argument. In response to the BR.com article that said Obama is the highest authority, let me introduce you God the Father, Yeshua, the Holy Spirit.

RJ
RJ

This is actually a relevant discussion to have, since some players in the league are so politically and emotionally active and attached to a particular party or ideology that the more politically active you are and side with one party, it makes the prospect of having to shake hands and intereact with the leader of the "opposition" that much more concernable. That being said, I can't think of any LEGITAMATE reason for a conservative to hate or dispise Obama enough to not attend the White House, yet I literally thought about my own personal and objectively justifiable hatred of the war criminal George W. Bush that I have no idea if I could be anywhere near the man, let alone shake his hand! To clarify and qualify this statement, I WOULD ahve gone to the WH and shaken Bush's hand in the first year of his presidency before he ignored the CIA 9-11 warning and forced/lied us into two unfunded wars of choice even though I loathed the creep even before then, but it wasn't until he committed high treason that I would have refused to be in the same room with the monster.

paulie
paulie

You are right in one aspect of this 'discussion' Frank. Sports should not be about politics. All I can say is that if your personal politics is more important than the honor of being invited to the White House, your commitment to your team mates or your sense of accomplishment winning a Super Bowl - then I guess that you are so small and petty an individual that I am greatly relieved that you have been cut, traded or retired. You really do not fit the team concept of the Ravens.

larry
larry

BS . biscotti had an agenda

yaliveand learn
yaliveand learn

An article said that he didn't attend because the President has said God Bless Planned Parenthood in a speech a few weeks ago. Birk being Catholic could not bring himself to attend due to not agreeing with the blessing of an agency that condones and performs abortions. The article was on the Ravens mobile app yesterday

Grey
Grey

No matter who occupies the office...you respect the office. 10-4 Paulie.

RJ
RJ

What if you don't believe in God? What if you are an athetist? I actaully beleive in a "higher power", yet I have zero proof of its existence, and anyone who claims that they actually do have proof that god "exists" is the most dangerous person you could ever meet.

DA
DA

The second paragraph is nothing but amusingly clueless liberal drivel. Could have left that out rather than embarrassing yourself. ;)

Schroeder
Schroeder

And on that note, I also don't think I'd be able to be in the same zip code as a commy who wants to drive my livelihood, and country into the groud as well as build up a debt that my grandkids will be paying... and I'm 18

Paul
Paul

Birk is man for standing by his principles.

karl
karl

I do believe in God because He Is. God's existence is predicated on majority opinion especially from satan's helpers (gays and atheists). He Is because He Is. The various tragedies happening in this country are due to the U.S. rejection of God.

paulie
paulie

Karl, this is not the place to tout your religious myopia. Suggest you read Bishop Desmond Tutu, Rev. J. Bennett Guess, among others who can explain to you where you missed the message of Christ.

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