The Minor League Baseball team Fresno Grizzlies, which is affiliated with the Washington Nationals, apologized late Monday night for publishing a Memorial Day tribute video that accused Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) of being one of the “enemies of freedom.”
The video features a speech by former President Ronald Reagan, during which he heralds the “moral courage of free men and women” as America’s “formidable weapon.”
“As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people,” Reagan says as photos of Kim Jong Un, Fidel Castro, anti-fascism protesters, and Ocasio-Cortez appear. “We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it, we will not surrender for it, now or ever. We are Americans.”
According to Fresno Bee reporter Carmen George, the tribute was aired at a Grizzlies game on Monday.
“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 Grizzlies said in a statement posted on their Twitter account. “We apologize to our fans and to our community for the error and for not properly vetting the video.”
In a follow-up tweet a few hours later, the team apologized to Ocasio-Cortez directly.
“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.”
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
Watch the tribute below (the “enemies of freedom” remark is at the 3-minute timestamp):