The Miami Marlins’ plan to erect a statue of deceased pitcher Jose Fernandez has been met with opposition. Advocates have asked the team to reconsider the tribute after more details emerged regarding the boating accident that killed Fernandez and two other men, according to NBC Miami.
Since the accident, a toxicology report revealed Fernandez had both cocaine and alcohol in his system on the night of the crash. An investigation concluded that Fernandez was driving at the time of the accident, making him responsible for the deaths of both Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero, the two other men on the boat.
The father of one of those men reached out to Marlins president David Samson calling the nine-foot statue the team plans to erect as a tribute to Fernandez “troubling.” Sally Matson, a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), also expressed concern about the statue, according to NBC Miami.
“I just think we have to be very careful about hinting and memorializing a person who would’ve been charged with two counts of manslaughter had he survived. We can’t condone the drinking and drugged driving,” said Matson.
Despite those pleas, Samson says the team will proceed with the statue as planned.
“People make mistakes, mistakes have consequences but it doesn’t change what Jose meant to the Marlins, what he meant to Miami, what he meant to the Comm. The fact is he will always be a Marlin that doesn’t change. When you love somebody you love them when things are good and when things are bad,” Samson said.
The Marlins are wearing No. 16 patches on their uniforms this season as a tribute to Fernandez.
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