The minor league Fresno Grizzlies felt the need to apologize to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for “some misleading and offensive editing,” in a Memorial Day tribute video that played at the team’s stadium.
The Grizzlies said that a video meant to be a “moving tribute” to the armed forces was played on the scoreboard between games of a doubleheader on Memorial Day. But just after the voice of President Ronald Reagan speaks about “enemies of freedom,” the face of Ocasio-Cortez appeared in between images of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and brutal Cuban president Fidel Castro, USA Today reported.
The team apologized for appearing to label Ocasio-Cortez as an enemy to freedom and claimed the video “made a statement that was not our intent and certainly not our opinion.” The team also apologized to veterans for “the undue distraction on such a solemn day.”
“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first,” the Grizzlies said in a statement. “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.”
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
The team added that the video was chosen from Youtube and was not made specifically for the team’s Memorial Day event.
Grizzlies spokesperson Paul Braverman also noted that they identified the employee who picked the video and added it to the system for playback. The employee expressed regret, and the incident has caused the team to put a ban on airing videos found on the Internet in the future.
The appearance of Ocasio-Cortez grouped with the two brutal dictators appears at three minutes into the tribute video. Antifa is also grouped among America’s enemies in the video.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.