Minor league team loses biggest sponsor after sharing video calling Ocasio-Cortez an 'enemy of freedom'

Minor league team loses biggest sponsor after sharing video calling Ocasio-Cortez an 'enemy of freedom'
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez via Shutterstock / Ronald Reagan via The National Archives.

The Fresno Grizzlies baseball team that decided to make a super frightening and idiotic statement on politics this Memorial Day weekend are out a sponsor. The team showed a Memorial Day video between the two games of a double header at Chukchansi Park. First reported by a Fresno Bee reporter Carmen George in a Tweet on Monday, the video, which you can watch below, is the kind of jingoistic drivel that former president Ronald Reagan spewed throughout his tragic eight years in office. In fact, the video uses a speech Reagan gave about fighting against all of our enemies and never surrendering to evil because “we are Americans.”

It’s the kind of thing that people who spend too much time cleaning guns listen to before bedtime. After a couple of minutes of footage showing American soldiers from the past two hundred years achieving great things while fighting against clear adversity, Reagan’s speech moves to a finale about how we cannot bow to America’s threats. Beginning with the line, “As with the enemies of freedom, those potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people.” It is at this ironic point that images of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, followed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, followed by Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro, followed by footage of “AntiFa” protestors runs. In that order. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez decided to signal boost this domestic threat in order to point out that these are the people threatening violence against Americans and American ideals.

Needless to say, the majority of people who saw this video felt it was projecting a particularly dangerous message by juxtaposing world leaders that the United States has had historically bad and sometime globally frightening relationships with along side a democratically elected Congresswoman. The people who didn’t find this video problematic most likely went back to playing that game where you try to stab a knife safely between your fingers outstretched on a wooden table.

The outcry brought on by the video led to the Fresno Grizzlies apologizing for being shitheads and saying that this was a “vetting” issue. Unfortunately for the Fresno Grizzlies, their foray into political advertising has lost them actual advertising, as Sun-Maid—a major sponsor of the team—told the Fresno Bee on Wednesday, that they were “disappointed” by the video; and that “While the Grizzlies have apologized for this mistake, we are standing on the side of what we believe is right and terminating our sponsorship of the team.”

Sun-Maid told the Washington Post that they didn’t want to take a political sides in the matter, they just wanted to do what was “right.” The Post also points out that Sun-Maid has a long history with Fresno and pulling their support is a bigger deal than just money. Good.

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