Baseball team causes stir, apologizes when AOC appears as ‘enemy of freedom’ in Memorial Day video

A Memorial Day “tribute” video that featured a photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as one of the “enemies of freedom” prompted an apology from a minor league baseball team.

The class AAA minor league Fresno Grizzlies addressed the video’s “misleading and offensive editing” in a statement Monday night, referring to the version that played on the scoreboard and featured the late President Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address accompanied by a slideshow of various images.

(Video: YouTube)

The video included inspirational photos along with Reagan’s voice, but during his remarks about the “enemies of freedom” and America’s “adversaries,” the slide show of photos displayed Ocasio-Cortez in between photos of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and the late Fidel Castro of Cuba.

“We are aware of the problem with the Memorial Day tribute video shown in the ballpark between games of Monday’s doubleheader,” the team said in the statement.

“A pre-produced video from outside our front office was selected; unfortunately what was supposed to be a moving tribute ended with some misleading and offensive editing, which made a statement that was not our intent and certainly not our opinion,” the statement went on.

“We apologize to our fans and to our community for the error and for not properly vetting the video. We also apologize to those who have served and are currently serving the country for the undue distraction on such a solemn day,” the Washington Nationals minor league affiliate wrote.

A few hours later, the team offered up another apology, this time addressing the New York congresswoman.

“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first. We unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) in addition to our fans, community and those we hurt,” they tweeted. “It was a mistake and we will ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.”

Derek Franks, Fresno Grizzlies team president, told KSEE-TV that the gaffe was “truly an oversight.”

“We are very sorry for the video that played tonight. It was an oversight on our side from a staff member that is remorseful,” he said. “We are very sorry to our fans and community and to Ms. Ocasio Cortez because what was seen tonight is not the views of the organization. It was truly an oversight.”

The team will be conducting an internal review, according to KSEE and said they have used the Reagan video before but the responsible employee did not realize this was a different version and had not watched it through.

Many social media users condemned the team’s error, slamming the political nature of the video and calling for more than an apology to Ocasio-Cortez.

Others thought the team had nothing to apologize for.

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Frieda Powers

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