President Donald Trump said Sunday that he won’t throw out the ceremonial first pitch next month at Yankee Stadium because he is too busy dealing with the coronavirus and economy.
“Because of my strong focus on the China Virus, including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy and much else, I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the Yankees on August 15th,” Trump tweeted. “We will make it later in the season!”
Because of my strong focus on the China Virus, including scheduled meetings on Vaccines, our economy and much else, I won’t be able to be in New York to throw out the opening pitch for the @Yankees on August 15th. We will make it later in the season!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2020 At a White House briefing Thursday, Trump said Yankees president Randy Levine “asked me to throw out the first pitch.”
That led to a storm of controversy, with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. slamming the Yankees for the invitation.
Diaz called out the organization in a press release Friday, pointing out that it came weeks after the Yankees released a statement reading, in part, "Black lives matter. The New York Yankees condemn racism, prejudice and injustice in all forms."
"By inviting President Trump to throw out the first pitch, they are blatantly demonstrating that their pronouncements are cynical and devoid of genuine meaning," Diaz said, adding that the Yankees were “pandering to an unapologetic white supremacist” while ignoring the Bronx community.
"After CONDEMNING racism, the next step isn’t inviting it to your pitcher’s mound,” de Blasio tweeted Saturday. “To the players that knelt for the BLM movement, we applaud you. To the execs that have aligned with hatred, you are on the wrong side of history and morality."
Diaz suggested a Black Lives Matter mural may be coming to a street outside Yankee Stadium.
"Perhaps, in fact, the words 'Black Lives Matter' should now also be painted on the street outside of Yankee Stadium, the same as Trump Tower," Diaz said.