For non-football fans, the 1972 Miami Dolphins hold the distinction of being the only NFL team in history to have a perfect season — one in which they won every game leading up to and including the Super Bowl.
In honor of their achievement, the team today received an invitation to visit the White House for an awards ceremony.
The invite comes more than four decades after their undefeated season, but better late than never — right?
Wrong. For some members of that storied team it’s never. According to CBS Sports:
At least three members of the ’72 squad won’t attend the ceremony in the nation’s capital because they oppose the views of President Barack Obama.
‘We’ve got some real moral compass issues in Washington,’ Hall of Fame center Jim Langer told the Sun-Sentinel‘s David Hyde. ‘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.’
‘I’ll just say my views are diametrically opposed to the President’s,’ Manny Fernandez said. ‘Enough said. Let’s leave it at that. I hope everyone enjoys the trip who goes.’
And 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,’ he told the newspaper. ‘I don’t have anything good to say about someone.… I just don’t believe in this administration at all. So I don’t belong. Anyone on the left or the right has to respect one man’s opinion.…
CBS’s Ryan Wilson correctly observes that the players have every right to refuse the invitation. Some will consider it small-minded to snub a U.S. president, especially one notable for ushering in an era of post-partisanship. Oh, wait…