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President Donald Trump revealed that he will not be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for the New York Yankees next month.
The president cited his “strong focus” on issues such as the U.S. economy and the COVID-19 pandemic that prevent him from being in New York for the event on August 15. Trump did, however, promise in a tweet to “make it later in the season.”
The president’s announcement in a tweet on Sunday came just days after he had remarked that he would be throwing out the first pitch during comments on Major League Baseball’s opening day.
Because of my strong focus on the China Virus, including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy and much else, I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the @Yankees on August 15th. We will make it later in the season!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2020
The president was happy that “baseball is back” as he spoke with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last week, remarking that he also hoped players would be respectful and remain standing during the playing of the national anthem.
“It’s great that baseball is back, and other sports are back. I hope everyone’s standing; I hope they’re not going to be kneeling when the flag is raised. I don’t like to see that,” Trump told Hannity.
But that night in Washington, just ahead of the season’s opening game, members of the Yankees and the Washington Nationals took a knee. Trump’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci attended the game and threw out the first pitch which drew plenty of online mockery.
Trump had also referred to his appearance at next month’s game in New York during a press briefing last Thursday, saying, “I think I’m doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium.”
“And I say, ‘How’s the crowd going to be?’ And, you know, it’s like you don’t have a crowd,” he added.
President Trump says he was asked by Yankees President Randy Levine to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game: “I think I’m doing that on August 15 at Yankee Stadium” https://t.co/wYHNtmyj2L pic.twitter.com/Xnq51kGhp8
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 23, 2020
“The key is to get back to normal,” the president said. “Nobody wants to see this. I think it is really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening. It’s a tremendous thing psychologically for our country.”
But just the mention of his intentions set off his critics.
“I am shocked and outraged by the New York Yankees’ decision to invite President Donald Trump to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz said in a statement. “We all deserve better than a careless major league baseball organization that consistently ignores the surrounding community while pandering to an unapologetic white supremacist like Donald Trump,”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted about who was on “the wrong side of history and morality.”
“After CONDEMNING racism, the next step isn’t inviting it to your pitcher’s mound,” the Democrat tweeted. “To the players that knelt for the BLM movement, we applaud you. To the execs that have aligned with hatred, you are on the wrong side of history and morality.”
Trump’s announcement postponing his appearance with the Yankees was met with expected ridicule on social media where he was mocked for a supposed inability to pitch the ball as well as being a “coward.” But others were quick to note that pitching is really not something Trump has avoided or failed at in the past.
Trump landed his helicopter in center field back in 2004 when he was invited to throw out the first pitch for the Somerset Patriots, in Bridgewater Township, NJ.
Dude just casually hits the rubber and launches a ROCKET. pic.twitter.com/rTmZfL2J5K
— Jimmy Tacos 🌮 (@Jimmy__Tacos) July 25, 2020
Short-armed it and still threw it on a line with velocity.
— N I C O (@Nico_Giancarlo) July 25, 2020
Who else thinks President Trump should do this again when he throws out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium? pic.twitter.com/WpARLrcN5P
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 23, 2020
— President’s Council (@FitnessGov) July 24, 2020
Plenty of Twitter users applauded that pitch and many other times Trump has not backed down or acted anything like a coward.
I reed these comments and realized most of you never knew the @POTUS of the 70’s and 80’s.I loved him than as I do now, he was bold, direct,fearless and when he said he would do something he would do it . YouTube has old interviews were he said things he as put into practice now.
— sue roy (@sue_roy) July 26, 2020
The haters are so funny, @realDonaldTrump threw serious heat, loved the clip!
— Lane Neville (@laneneville) July 26, 2020
@TheRalphRetort best pitch I’ve seen this week
— J0e schmoe (@J0eSchmoe) July 26, 2020
How a real man throws out the first pitch @taracochran
— stephen rand (@smrand2) July 26, 2020
Other Twitter users questioned why the president said he was too busy to be at the Yankees game but was seen golfing this weekend with former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre at Trump’s private club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Brett LOVES Wisconsin, Mississippi and Minnesota. A good golfer – hits it LONG! https://t.co/JcBJJEWI0X
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2020
He was also seen getting out of his vehicle to give away red caps to waiting crowds, staying socially distanced as he was not wearing a mask.
President Trump throws red hats to group of supporters gathered along the motorcade route in Bedminster, NJ, where he spent the weekend at his private golf club pic.twitter.com/r8in5V3quR
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) July 26, 2020
(Source: The Hill)
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