While President Barack Obama wants to show his love for the phenomenal 1972 Miami Dolphins football team, at least three of its members aren’t showing the love back. They refuse to appear for a Tuesday White House tribute.
The Dolphins are the only team in National Football League history to win the Super Bowl with a perfect season. Some of the members of that championship team have decided to snub the White House event honoring the team.
“We’ve got some real moral compass issues in Washington,” Hall of Fame center Jim Langer told the Sun-Sentinel, according to NewsMax. “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 think it’s great if [other players] want to have that function at the White House,” Langer said when the idea was first broached a year ago. “I have other stuff to do.”
Former offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg was more circumspect with his comments.
“I want to be careful, because mom said if you have nothing good to say about someone, then don’t say anything,” he said “I don’t have anything good to say about someone,” but added:
“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.” He said he’ll take his grandson fishing instead.
Manny Fernandez, NFL’s “Unsung Player of the Year” in 1973, was plain-spoken in his remarks: “I’ll just say my views are diametrically opposed to the president’s. Enough said. Let’s leave it at that. I hope everyone enjoys the trip who goes.”
Obama is scheduled Tuesday to welcome the 1972 Dolphins to honor the only team — then or now — to go 17-0. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula is expected to accompany the players, and Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti told the NewYork Daily News the event was “a long time coming, but we’re finally getting there.”
The ’72 Dolphins didn’t make it to the White House in the months after their Super Bowl victory because President Nixon was immersed in the Watergate scandal.
Two other members, as yet unidentified, are wavering on making an appearance, for the same political reasons.
Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk dnd Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas nixed earlier White House tributes. Birk, because of Obama’s pro-choice stance and Thomas because the government “has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people.”