David Ortiz: Trump Immigration Stance ‘Slap in the Face’ to ‘Latin People’

John Manning, Cecil Pendergrass, David Ortiz
The Associated Press

As Boston Red Sox first baseman and future Hall-of-Famer David Ortiz begins drawing back the curtain on an exceptional MLB career, the slugger found time to criticize the GOP presidential nominee, Donald Trump, for his stance on illegal immigrants and border security.

Admitting he doesn’t keep up with current events and politics, Ortiz said the billionaire’s remarks that some illegal immigrants coming into the country are criminals and rapists troubled him. Known as “Big Papi” to adoring fans, the 40-year-old veteran said during a Spanish-language interview with USA TODAY Sports, “Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy.”

Big Papi continued, “When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face…. I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard.… As Latin people, we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.”

Ortiz brings his 19-year career to a close in 2016, enjoying a standout season. Ortiz boasts 31 home runs and 107 RBI while carrying a .318 batting average. He currently stands tied with Jimmie Fox at #18 on the all-time MLB home run leader list with 534, just two behind legendary Bronx Bomber Mickey Mantle.

Although it doesn’t look like Ortiz will be pulling the lever for The Donald this coming November, former Red Sox teammates Curt Schilling and Johnny Damon, and current teammate Clay Buchholz—all of whom share World Series rings with Ortiz—are on record of supporting Trump for President in 2016.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer  Tito Ortiz—who met Trump as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice—shares the same surname. But the pugilist agrees with Big Papi’s teammates and is all in for Trump.

The mixed martial arts star for Bellator MMA, who is Mexican, said in a recent interview regarding Trump’s border wall: “You really gotta think about — it’s just not Mexicans that we have worry about, you know? It’s the Muslims, it’s the radicals, that come in that have the opportunity to come in from that way [Mexico] to our country and do the things with terrorism that’s, it’s hindering our country… So I think in my opinion, I think Trump could help make that a lot better.”

A three-time World Series Champion, Ortiz says he wants his fellow players to remember him for other things than his home runs: “I want people to say to them, ‘I knew your dad, and he was a guy with huge power. But there was something better about him. He was a good person, a good guy.’ That’s what I care about the most.”