Minor League Baseball Team Calls Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez An ‘Enemy Of Freedom’
A minor league baseball team got in trouble after it aired a Memorial Day video in where Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was depicted among “enemies of freedom.” California’s Class AAA Fresno Grizzlies, a minor-league affiliate of the Washington Nationals, showed a 3-minute video that was supposed to be a “moving tribute” to the armed forces. Instead, it showed Ocasio-Cortez with the likes of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
The baseball team released a statement saying that they are “embarrassed” by the video and have called it situation a complete “mistake.”
As the voice of President Ronald Reagan warned of “enemies of freedom,” a photo of Ocasio-Cortez appeared with Kim and Castro. The Grizzlies issued a statement on Monday that said the video was “misleading and offensive.” The team said the clip was a “pre-produced video from outside our front office.”
“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first,” the Grizzlies posted on Twitter Tuesday. “We unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) in addition to our fans, community and those we hurt. It was a mistake and we will ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to the video in a series of tweets Tuesday, writing that “words matter.”
The New York Democrat voiced her anger and disappointment about the whole situation. Ocasio-Cortez stressed that “words matter” and these incidents have a great effect on her personal life.
“What people don’t (maybe do) realize is when orgs air these hateful messages, my life changes bc of the flood of death threats they inspire,” she wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “I‘ve had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me.”
The baseball team has identified the employee behind the incident.
In a press release on Wednesday, the team is said they are remorseful and the club will likely not broadcast videos from the internet at its games moving forward “in an abundance of caution.”
The employee responsible for the video was identified and “has been reprimanded by the organization.” The team also acknowledged the backlash they have received over the video and say criticism they’ve “received is deserved.”
Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the most prominent politicians in the U.S. and a regular target of criticism by the right-wing.
The freshman congresswoman has been the subject of multiple attacks across social media and on right-wing networks since she rose to prominence last year. She said online that this type of behavior has become too regular and questioned the way some people are using “free speech.”
“It happens whenever Fox gets particularly aggressive + hateful, too. Young interns have to constantly hear hateful messages (far beyond disagreement) from ppl we don’t even rep,” Ocasio-Cortex said on Twitter. “For those who believe in ‘free speech’: whose free speech do you believe in?”