The Fresno Grizzlies have apologized for a video that was shown during the team’s Memorial Day doubleheader that appeared to suggest that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is one of America’s “enemies of freedom.”
The video, which runs about 3 minutes, 30 seconds and was shown between games against El Paso, features audio from Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural address. Around the three-minute mark, when the former president mentions “the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries,” an image of Ocasio-Cortez appears, just after the likeness of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and immediately preceding that of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
The Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, issued an apology via Twitter on Monday night, calling the clip “a pre-produced video from outside our front office” that had not been viewed in its entirety before being shown at Chukchansi Park.
“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 team stated.
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. It was a mistake and we will ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.— Fresno Grizzlies (@FresnoGrizzlies) May 28, 2019
“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first. We unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez 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.”
A Grizzlies spokesperson told the Washington Post that the person responsible for the video was “remorseful” and an internal review of the incident will take place. Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist often criticized by conservatives, retweeted a tweet about the video as part of a thread about “these hateful messages” Tuesday afternoon.
“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 tweeted. “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.”