The Fresno Grizzlies are learning an old lesson the hard way: You can’t trust the internet.
Between games of a Memorial Day doubleheader, the Grizzlies aired what was supposed to be a moving tribute to fallen soldiers, a speech by the late President Ronald Reagan on sacrifice and courage in the name of duty. But as Reagan’s voice mentioned “enemies of freedom,” the video tucked present-day figures, including U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) between images of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un and the late Fidel Castro of Cuba.
Obviously, the video — which you can watch here — wasn’t patriotic but a not particularly subtle bit of propaganda, one completely at odds with the concept of “moral courage” that Reagan spoke of earlier in the speech. The Grizzlies employee responsible for airing the video apparently didn’t watch it all the way through, according to the team.
The Grizzlies offered up an apology shortly after the incident, expressing regret for the “misleading and offensive editing, which made a statement that was not our intent and certainly not our opinion.”
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,” the team added. “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.”
Election results indicate that Fresno County is more divided than most in California. In the most recent presidential election, 49.4 percent of Fresno votes went for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, while 45.5 went for eventual winner Donald Trump.
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