BC-US--California Team-Ocasio-Cortez Apology,2nd Ld-Writethru, US
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A minor league baseball team in California apologized to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a Memorial Day tribute video that lumped her image with those of Kim Jong Un and Fidel Castro.
The Fresno Grizzlies said in a statement the scoreboard video broadcast during Monday night’s doubleheader was supposed to be a moving tribute.
However, it “ended with some misleading and offensive editing, which made a statement that was not our intent and certainly not our opinion,” the team said.
The team said it failed to properly vet the video found on YouTube, the Fresno Bee reported .
“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first,” the statement said. “We unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in addition to those we hurt.”
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday.
“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,” she posted.
Later, she added that “words matter, and can have consequences for safety.”
The video called a “Memorial Day Tribute - We Are Americans” is filled with patriotic-themed images playing behind excerpts from President Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural speech.
Toward the end, as Reagan mentions “enemies of freedom,” the video shows images of the North Korean leader, Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and the late Cuban leader.
The Triple-A team is part of the Pacific Coast League and an affiliate of the Washington Nationals.