President Donald Trump has been a polarizing figure who has generated strong emotions from countless Americans, including several current professional athletes.
After six New England Patriot football players recently announced they will not be attending the White House this year to celebrate their Super Bowl win, 41 Action News reached out to Kansas City’s pro sports teams to see how they advise their players regarding politics.
"We play it straight down the middle, but we don't preclude our players from voicing their opinion on political matters or campaigns,” said Toby Cook, Kansas City Royals spokesman.
"We don't tell the players that they can't do it,” he said regarding political endorsements.
Cook said the Royals set aside an entire day of Spring Training to counsel players on how to avoid situations that may land them in hot water, which includes what they put on social media.
"Royals representative and Major League Baseball representatives get in front of the players and review what they've talked about the year before,” said Cook.
Restrictions regarding what players put on social media – including political posts – are only considered if something is considerably inappropriate.
"If you're going to put fans in an uncomfortable position, or the club, or yourself,” said Cook regarding which social media posts would be red-flagged.
Sporting KC also has ‘media training’ with its players.
"We really want them to be authentic,” said Sporting KC spokesman Rob Thomson.
Star forward Dom Dwyer publicly supported former President Obama. However, he also tweeted a picture of toilet paper with President Trump’s face on it.
"Over the years they've gotten much better. Plenty of times I get calls saying 'hey is this okay? What do you think about this?'" said Thomson.
And that checking-in and monitoring is something more professional teams appear to be doing a lot more of in 2017.
"Just keep in mind that whatever you put on social media is there forever whether you delete it or not,” said Cook.
A spokesman with the Kansas City Chiefs told 41 Action News they do not have a specific policy for their players regarding politics and social media and that head coach Andy Reid "encourages his players to show their personality."
Josh Helmuth can be reached at email@example.com