WH Not Disappointed Some Miami Dolphins Refuse to Attend Ceremony

August 20, 2013 - 1:18 PM

Obama 72 Dolphins Football

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 1973 file photo, Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula is carried off the field after his team won the Super Bowl game with a 14-7 victory over Washington, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/File)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House said Monday that it is not disappointed that some members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins have decided not to attend a White House ceremony Tuesday that honors them 41 years after they won the Super Bowl.

“No. People are certainly allowed to make whatever decision they’d like to make on that,” White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said when asked whether the White House was disappointed that several members of the team won’t appear with President Barack Obama because of political differences.

Hall of Famer Jim Langer told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “We’ve got some real moral compass issues in Washington.”

“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,” Langer said.

Manny Fernandez told the paper, “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,” Fernandez added.

Bob Kuechenberg, a former offensive lineman for the Dolphins, said, “I want to be careful, because mom said if you have nothing good to say about someone, then don’t say anything.”

“I don’t have anything good to say about someone,” Kuechenberg said. “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.”

"I don't belong there, I'll tell you that," Kuechenberg added. "Without being critical, I can just tell you I don't belong. It would be hypocritical of me to be there. I don't want to do that. 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."

At Monday’s White House press conference, a reporter asked where the idea came from “to honor a team four decades after the fact.”

“To be honest with you, I don’t know whose idea it was, but marking the 40th anniversary of their Super Bowl victory seems appropriate considering they won that Super Bowl at a time before NFL Super Bowl champions regularly visited the White House,” Earnest said.

“This is an opportunity for them to get the kind of White House visit that contemporary Super Bowl winning teams get to enjoy. I can tell you the president’s certainly looking forward to it,” Earnest added.