President Barack Obama’s final official function was the honoring of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs. This was a Presidential record 86th sports team that he has hosted for eight years.
He used the occasion to emphasize the value of sports to society.
"Sports has changed attitudes and culture in ways that seem subtle,” said the 44th President of the United States of America. “Sports has a way sometimes of changing hearts in a way that politics or business doesn’t, and sometimes it's just a matter of us being able to escape and relax from the difficulties of our days. But sometimes it also speaks to something better in us”
At the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we agree with the President, that the values of the Game Football can change lives for the better with the Hall’s Values are Commitment, Integrity, Courage, Respect and Excellence which is throughout the Hall of Fame and why the Pro Football Hall of Fame has produced a brand new exhibit “A Game for Life” where Gold Jackets Alan Page, Jim Kelly, Curtis Martin, Jim Brown, Warren Moon and Steve Largent. These Hall of Famers inspire fans from 8 to 80 with how the game shaped them for their game for life.
The tradition of hosting championship sports team’s dates to 1865, when President Andrew Johnson welcomed the Brooklyn Atlantics and Washington Nationals amateur baseball clubs. In 1963, John F. Kennedy was the first president to welcome the NBA champion Boston Celtics.
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However, it wasn’t until 1980 when President Jimmy Carter hosted the first Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the city’s World Series-winning Pittsburgh Pirates in a dual ceremony. Eleven years later, the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first Stanley Cup champion to visit 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when they were hosted by President George H.W. Bush.
While these championship teams accept this great honor and invitation to the most esteemed house in the country, they use this opportunity to give back to the community through service.
During their visits to the White House, the San Antonio Spurs met with wounded military members, the Baltimore Ravens donated football equipment to high schools in the surrounding D.C. area and the U.S. women’s soccer team performed a youth fitness clinic to promote healthy lifestyle.
Thank you President Obama for shining your like on Sports and we look forward to having you visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Most Inspiring Place on Earth.