The Fresno Grizzlies apologized to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after it played a video on its scoreboard that included a picture of the New York congresswoman among “enemies of freedom.”

The minor-league baseball team posted on Twitter late Monday that the video, based on a Memorial Day speech by President Ronald Reagan, was “a pre-produced video from outside our front office” and that it contained “some misleading and offensive editing.”

“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first,” the team said.


About an hour later, the Grizzlies sent another tweet that said “we unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez 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.”

The video, shown between games of a double-header against the El Paso Chihuahuas, was lifted by a Grizzlies staff member from a third-party YouTube account, Grizzlies president Derek Franks said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. “This was taken off the internet. Borrowed, if you will,” Franks said.

On the video, when Reagan cites “enemies of freedom” in the speech, the video shows images of Ocasio-Cortez, North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un, and the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

People at the game, including Fresno Bee reporter Carmen George, reacted to the video.

Images of anti-fascist, alt-left protesters, along with what appears to be pictures from President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, also appear in the video.

Franks said the staff member who found and used the video was “remorseful.” He said the matter was being handled internally.

“We didn’t take the full steps to make sure that video was the right content for the ballclub,” Franks said.

To those who went on social media to contend the Grizzlies showed the politically charged video intentionally, Franks said in response: “Had this been intentional, we would have owned it, the same way we have owned that it was a mistake and that we didn’t do our job vetting the content.”

Here is the video:

The Grizzlies, a team in the Pacific Coast League, is the Triple A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

Grizzlies Apologize on Wednesday as Well

20 Responses

  1. Brian

    Who made the video? That is the important question. I’m also not sure why you chose to include the video in the article. It was offensive enough in the original airing.

    • Jody Murray
      Jody Murray

      Hi, Brian. The video is from a third-party YouTube account. The Fresno Grizzlies didn’t create it. But it’s not clear who edited the video. As for adding the video to our story, we feel it’s important that readers see what the people at Chukchansi Park saw.

    • Tracy Lopez

      It’s totally appropriate to show the video. People need to see what is at the center of all of this.

    • Sandra

      I believe the grizzlies organization over apologized … they said it was a mistake it won’t happen again.. y’all quit blowing this out of the ball park! No pundit meant. And let’s get back to business as usual! No further explanation nor investigation!!!

  2. Pete

    Will the ballteam, in addition to its well considered apology, rout out the elements in its business decision making that resulted in the disingenuous broadcast of salacious propaganda under its control? If so, more power to the club for standing up to the false pictures presented all too often to its fans and supporters.

  3. Elizabeth Honeyman

    This is really offensive and outrageous! A member in good standing of the Congress of the United States portrayed as an adversary of freedom? This is home-grown fascist propaganda at its worst and, while I do not support their tactics, is one of the reasons the other American citizen depicted feels compelled to join an organization like Antifa. Members of the extreme right clearly feel emboldened to portray fellow citizens with differing viewpoints as enemies of the people.

    The Grizzlies team owes the citizens of Fresno a full disclosure of who was behind the decision to play this video at the game and who was behind the making of the original video, as well as the editing of the video to include someone associated with Antifa and Representative Ocasio-Cortez. This is not Nazi Germany where this sort of propaganda was simply shrugged off —until it was too late. The team organization owes us more than just saying they are sorry.

    • Mike

      Get a grip on yourself, for you are wrong in thinking that ANTIFA are innocent…They are in fact the fa ists and Rep.AOC is an indoctrinated and committed Socialist that doesn’t even understand that true socialism leads to communism…so I think it was right that she was in the video as she is an enemy of freedom in this country….Its also ANTIFA that is trying to silence conservatives and free speech in this country….Give me one example where conservatives have tried to stifle freedom and speech in this country.

      • Don Fischer

        Let’s see…the President calls the press “the enemy of the people” but that’s not stifling freedom and speech in this country. You’re sadly misinformed I’m afraid.

      • John Boland

        Boycott the Grizzlies I’ll be repeating this until someone takes responsibility and is fired.

      • Gregory Stanley

        Don Fisher, the President calling the leftist media “the enemy of the people” is no where near an act of stifling freedom or free speech. Has Trump spied on members of the media like Obama did? Has Trump arrested members of the media like Roosevelt and other presidents did. The answer to both these questions is a resounding NO. AOC and Antifa are in fact enemies of freedom. AOC proposing imposing a system of government on U.S. citizens that has lead to more deaths throughout history than any other. Antifa is constantly perpetrating violence against anyone who opposes their fascist agenda! You sir, are the one who is sadly misinformed.

    • Robert McEwen

      The Grizzlies organization doesn’t owe anyone any more than they have done. They said they handled it and that’s all you need to know. They’re a private entity and can handle it without disclosure to the public.

      • Charles

        Well I guess they’ve handled it enough so I won’t go to any more of their games.

    • Chris

      Sorry Lizzy, I disagree entirely. AOC is subversive and should be called out, And possibly is a pos and she certainly fits the bill. If you think this justifies joining an organization like Antifa, you’re not far behind.

  4. Steve

    I support calls to get at the roots of who produced this video, and how the selection process was made. One only has to see the murder-mouthing agitprop of Harrison-Floyd, GOP congressional candidate in Georgia, to get a clear sense of the coordination the far-right is using to push its authoritarian agenda. There is more to this story. A lot more.

  5. Charlie

    Mike, if socialism leads to communism, then you must be against Trump’s subsidies to farmers hurting from his tariffs…those subsidies are socialism. And, no, it won’t lead to communism anymore than marijuana will lead to deadly drugs.

    • Karl

      Thanks Charlie. The fire department is a socialist entity. There are some thing that should not be for profit.

  6. Will

    I wonder how the Washington Nationals feel, now that their Triple A affiliate is grouping a strong and outspoken latina Democratic representative along with the true enemies of America.
    Do you believe that this is a representative belief of the 46.9% of the latino population that makes up the City of Fresno (2010 census #’s)?

    • Jody Murray
      Jody Murray

      A note to all: The Grizzlies said last night on Twitter, and team President Derek Franks reiterated today, that the video wasn’t reviewed all the way through before it went on the scoreboard, and that it would not have been showen if staff were aware of all the content. Franks also has an answer to those who believe showing the video was purposeful. Please refer to the story; it was updated this afternoon with Franks’ comments. Thanks!

  7. John Boland

    I’m a lifelong Fresno native and am visiting London, where this partisan ad was in the news. This video is shameful and will put Fresno in a bad light again, after years of negative commentary about our town. In these divisive times, you have endangered the life of a US congressperson. Someone should be fired.

  8. Gregory Stanley

    Anyone viewing the video and taking offense is blind to (or supports) the agendas being pushed by groups like Antifa and political figures like AOC. They openly espouse the destruction of our constitutional republic. In the case of Antifa, the perpetuate violence on anyone who opposes their anti-American activities. AOC’s rhetoric is one of silencing and admonishment, telling those who disagree with her to “shut up”. Those of you who do not believe these people are not the enemies of freedom have no clue of freedom.


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