The Nationals’ World Series victory Wednesday night has brought together fans in a city deeply divided by the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Washington Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 on Wednesday in the seventh game of Major League Baseball’s World Series, earning the team’s first championship win in franchise history.
Politics have previously divided fans at D.C.’s Nationals Park, where the team plays its home games. Last Sunday, Trump, first lady Melania Trump and other prominent Republicans attended the fifth game of the series. The president’s group was loudly booed by members of the audience, many jeering “lock him up.”
But sporting events also provide an opportunity to bring people together, as famously happened during the 1971 World Table Tennis Championships in Nagoya, Japan, when a public encounter between two pingpong players from China and the U.S. was seen as signaling the thawing of U.S.-Chinese relations during the Cold War.
For D.C. residents, the Nationals’ World Series victory became a moment of unity for the city.
“The impeachment is definitely divisive,” said resident Ore Fashola. “The Nationals’ win in the World Series … is a very big cohesive moment.”
Despite the win, D.C. residents said the good news was only temporary.
“On Saturday, everybody will be together for the parade and for one day only, and then it will go back to business as normal,” said resident Daniel Dowhan. While Wednesday’s win was big, it was too small for people to overcome their differences and be “friends,” he added.
Fashola said she thought the win would be a “short-term” unifier. “I think that [impeachment is] more a long-term focus.”
Some Washingtonians, however, had trouble taking even a short break from the impeachment inquiry on the day of the World Series win.
“I’m following and looking forward to seeing a better change,” said one resident, Penelope, when asked about the inquiry.
The House voted Thursday to authorize a public impeachment inquiry targeting Trump for allegedly pushing Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.