Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Morgan
Donald Trump is not a favorite of Dodgers first-baseman Adrian Gonzalez. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Donald Trump has suddenly taken center stage – sort of – during the Los Angeles Dodgers drive to the World Series.

The controversial Republican billionaire turns out to have been so objectionable to Dodgers star Adrian Gonzalez that Gonzalez refused to stay at a Trump hotel in Chicago with the rest of his team earlier in the season.

The story just surfaced as Gonzalez was one of the stars of the Dodgers win Sunday night against the Cubs to even the National League playoff championship series at one each. The first baseman hit a second-inning home run and that turned out to be the only score for either side as Clayton Kershaw pitched a masterpiece.

But that game wasn’t the only thing on the front page of the Los Angeles Times sports section Tuesday. It was a kind of profile of Gonzalez, and how he had kept his refusal to stay at the Trump hotel quiet for about five months.

“I don’t want this to be a story,” he told the newspaper. “I did it for myself.”

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The story said Gonzalez does not want to emulate Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49er quarterback who gained national publicity for his refusal to stand during the National Anthem to protest American injustice.

“I wasn’t doing it for publicity,” said the first baseman. “I wasn’t doing it for people to look at me or talk about me. That’s not who I am. I just have my own values and morals that I want to live by.”

The Times said Gonzalez was born in San Diego and raised on both sides of the border. He speaks English and Spanish.

Among Trump’s most famous statements is his assurance that he’ll build a wall to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants from the United States. The GOP candidate has also drawn criticism for disparaging those people as rapists and drug traffickers.

The story of Gonzalez’ hotel decision only came out over the weekend when a Dodgers broadcaster spoke about it with a newspaper reporter.

“I’m not an in-your-face guy,” Gonzalez explained.

He added, “I’m not a politician. I’m not ever going to get into politics. I don’t intend to create a political debate.”

Keeping his decision out of the public eye was his style. “I like to be an inward-type person, not outward,” he told the Times. “Again, I have different ideas and things that I live by that I want to continue to live by. It’s not for people to know about.”

— Staff reports

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