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Chicago’s Wrigley Field reportedly becomes not-so-friendly confines for Lori Lightfoot at home opener

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot received a round of boos from fans at Wrigley Field ahead of Thursday’s Opening Day game between the Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to several social media users.

“Lori Lightfoot booed at Wrigley. Another Chicago tradition continues,” Chicago Tribune sportswriter Paul Sullivan noted on Twitter.

“There are audible boos when Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot is introduced before the Cubs game,” Cubs beat reporter for the Tribune, Meghan Montemurro, added.

“Mayor Lori Lightfoot gets a big round of boos from fans here at Wrigley Field,” Russell Dorsey, the Chicago Sun-Times beat reporter for the Cubs, added.

The game, which the Cubs lost 5-3, was the first to include fans at Wrigley since the 2019 season after the COVID-19 pandemic led mayors and governors to ban most attendance at sporting and entertainment venues around the country.

And while Wrigley wasn’t open to full capacity, fans who did manage to get in were thrilled, nonetheless.

“A year’s too long to be away from the Cubs,” fan Tim Gerster, who has brought his son to Opening Day games for the past decade, told the Sun-Times.

Others, however, said the ‘feel’ was different because of continued coronavirus-related restrictions and procedures.

“This does not feel like a normal Opening Day, not at all,” home healthcare worker Kelli Serviss, who has gone to every home opener for about 20 years, added. “It’s very empty. It’s very different.”

As for Lightfoot, it’s likely that at least some of the boos were related to her handling of the pandemic, which at various points has been controversial.

In October, for instance, Lightfoot drew mocking and criticism when she showed up for a news conference dressed in super-hero get-up and called herself the “Rona Destroyer.”

She was joined at the same news conference by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, who wore a similar outfit.

She was also criticized when, in August, she established a perimeter around her own home banning people from protesting her policies even as businesses were looted during rioting and demonstrations along the Miracle Mile and other portions of the city.

“The directive surfaced in a July email. … It did not distinguish between the peaceful protesters Lightfoot regularly says she supports and those who might intend to be destructive, but ordered that after a warning is given to demonstrators, ‘It should be locked down,’” the Chicago Tribune reported at the time.

“As recently as Friday, dozens of protesters were turned away from the block after trying to march to the mayor’s house in support of local school councils voting Chicago police off their campuses. Barricades can be seen set aside for quick deployment even on days without demonstrations,” the paper added.

Lightfoot justified her decision by claiming she gets death threats.

“Given the threats that I personally receive, given the threats to my home and my family, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that they are protected, and I make no apologies whatsoever for that,” she told a news conference.

Chicago’s municipal code prohibits protests in residential areas, but when asked by the Tribune to “list specific instances where the city enforced the residential protest ban aside from demonstrations near Lightfoot’s house,” Chicago Police could not provide any, the paper reported.

Lightfoot also drew cries of hypocrisy when she defied her own order closing hair salons to get hers cut and styled in April 2020 amid a strict COVID lockdown.

“I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye. I take my personal hygiene very seriously,” Lightfoot reacted angrily to a reporter’s question about the incident.

“I felt like I needed to have a haircut. I’m not able to do that myself, so I got a haircut. You want to talk more about that?”

Jon Dougherty

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