Orioles exec: Trump needs to apologize before he throws out the first pitch
Throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game is a tradition for U.S. presidents.
But an executive from the Baltimore Orioles is not eager to welcome President Trump.
Team VP John Angelos says he doesn’t want Trump to throw out the first pitch unless Trump apologizes for all of the offensive comments he’s made.
Angelos made the comments Thursday during a call with the BmoreOpinionated Podcast, a weekly series that covers Baltimore sports.
“You don’t say those things about women, you don’t say those things about different ethnic groups, different national origins, people who are disabled, all of that — and if you do say them, you’re a big enough person to withdraw them and apologize,” Angelos said.
“To have somebody that’s the leader of the country say things that are demeaning to different groups is incredibly debilitating to the country.”
Whether or not Trump gets an invite is up to the team’s owners but Peter Angelos, John’s father, happens to be the majority stakeholder.
Of course, presidents appear at stadiums all over the country, but the capital’s proximity to both Camden Yards, the home of the Orioles, and Nationals Park, where the Washington Nationals play, make them both frequent stops for the leader of the free world.
The Nationals did not respond when asked whether they plan to invite Trump to throw the first pitch this season.
Trump has had some practice on the mound. He threw out the first pitch in August 2006 at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, in July 2000 at a White Sox game at Wrigley Field and during spring training in March 2004.
When podcast host Jason La Canfora asked Angelos whether he’d like to see fans boo Trump at Camden Yards, Angelos didn’t exactly demur.
“I appreciate your comments but I don’t think that’s enough,” Angelos said. He added that leaders need to speak up, and commended athletes like Misty Copeland, Steph Curry and Colin Kaepernick for doing so.
“They need to stand up and not normalize and not legitimize and not whitewash that kind of conduct,” he said. “I wouldn’t accept that from a Democrat or a Republican or somebody from outer space.”
Angelos said that demeaning comments are dangerous because they can “embolden and radicalize” people.
“Racial biases and all these things are forms of psychological imbalance,” Angelos said.
While Angelos said he isn’t a Democrat or a Republican, he and the team he’s a part of have a history of making a statement.
Since 2015, the Orioles have played “This Land Is Your Land” during the seventh-inning stretch at Friday home games to honor their diverse community.
Angelos and team manager Buck Showalter, also spoke out during the Baltimore protests over Freddie Gray, who died from injuries he sustained while in police custody.
When the team closed Camden Yards during the protests, Angelos tweeted that “inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”