TORONTO — In the wake of White House media restrictions, U.S. soccer captain Michael Bradley took to social media — quoting Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt on the need to be able to hold the U.S. president accountable.
Bradley, currently in Florida at training camp with Toronto FC, posted an excerpt from a May 1918 letter from former president Roosevelt published in the Kansas City Star.
"The president is merely the most important among a large number of public servants," Roosevelt wrote. "He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.
"Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
"Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
Roosevelt was the 26th president of the U.S., serving from 1901 to 1909.
Bradley made no comment himself in the post.
News organizations including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN and Politico were blocked from joining an informal, on-the-record White House press briefing Friday.
The White House said it felt "everyone was represented" by those in the pool and the invited organizations.
Bradley has used social media before to comment on the news. In the wake of president Donald Trump's initial attempt at a travel ban on some refugees, he said he was "sad and embarrassed" by the move.
Bradley took to Instagram to add to elaborate on comments made earlier in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
"I believe what I said, but it was too soft. The part I left out is how sad and embarrassed I am," Bradley wrote.
Trump's executive order suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the U.S. for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
It subsequently was challenged in court, with the White House saying a revised executive order was coming.