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Jonny Gomes: Wearing his patriotism on his sleeve — and everywhere else

Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes (left) spoke to reporters April 1 in front of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., following a ceremony where President Barack Obama honored the 2013 World Series baseball champion the Boston Red Sox on the White House South Lawn.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes (left) spoke to reporters April 1 in front of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., following a ceremony where President Barack Obama honored the Boston Red Sox.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Jonny Gomes, donning an American flag blazer, walked past a US Marine at the White House.

There is a difference between patriotic and tacky. Patriotic is when cherubic tykes wave flags at Fourth of July parades while humming along to a marching band playing “America the Beautiful.” Tacky is when Madonna wraps herself in an American flag and attempts to sing Don McLean’s “American Pie.”

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So what to make of Red Sox player Jonny Gomes arriving at the White House in an American flag blazer looking as if he’s ready for the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics? It’s a little patriotic, it’s a little tacky, but mostly, it’s grandstanding. Gomes bought matching jackets for his teammates, and even one for the president. But none (wisely) opted to wear them. Give Gomes points for exercising his freedom of fashion speech, but it came at the expense of stealing the spotlight from teammates on a day when all should be recognized for a well-deserved World Series win. One practical tip Jonny: Save those white slacks for post-Memorial Day gatherings.

Christopher Muther can be reached at Christopher.Muther@globe.com.
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