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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez video spurs more sponsors to drop Fresno Grizzlies

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
In this Wednesday, April 10, 2019, file photo, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing with leaders of major banks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(Patrick Semansky / AP)

The fallout continues for the minor league baseball team that earlier this week showed a video that suggested that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is one of America’s “enemies of freedom.”

Dos Equis and Tecate beers, both owned Heineken International, announced Thursday that they would no longer sponsor the Fresno Grizzlies days after the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals played the controversial video between games of a Memorial Day doubleheader against El Paso.

“Tecate has always been about togetherness and we do not support the views expressed in the video,” Tecate said in a tweeted statement.

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Dos Equis tweeted: “We are disheartened to learn of the views expressed in the video that aired during Monday’s Fresno Grizzlies game, as they do not reflect our core values.”

The video 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 team issued an apology, stating that the organization “allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first.” The Grizzlies said in a statement that the responsible employee had been reprimanded.

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On Wednesday, the raisin company Sun-Maid ended its corporate sponsorship of the Grizzlies, also citing the video as the reason.

The Fresno Bee reported that sponsors Save Mart and GAR Tootelian are maintaining their relationships with the Grizzlies. In the same article, the newspaper noted that the Bee itself was a longtime sponsor of the team and “is still looking at possible options.”

The Nationals appear to be standing by their farm team.

“Based on their investigation, it is clear to us that this was an honest mistake by a long-time employee and was not politically motivated,” Jennifer Giglio, vice president of communications for the Nationals, told the Bee. “They have put processes in place to ensure it does not happen again and we are comfortable with those procedures.”

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charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


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