Raisin company Sun-Maid announced Wednesday it was pulling its sponsorship of a minor league baseball team that played a video depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez to Cruz: ‘Let’s make a deal’ Ocasio-Cortez stood up to boss who ranked employees on attractiveness: book Ted Cruz says he backs Ocasio-Cortez on lifetime lobbying ban for lawmakers MORE (D-N.Y.) among “enemies of freedom” like dictators Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnNorth Korea envoy executed over failed Trump-Kim summit: report Sun-Maid raisins pulls sponsorship of baseball team over Ocasio-Cortez ‘enemies of freedom’ video The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Mueller breaks silence in surprise statement MORE and Fidel Castro.
“We are deeply disappointed by the Memorial Day tribute video the Fresno Grizzlies aired on Monday,” Sun-Maid said in an email sent to The Sacramento Bee. “Sun-Maid does not support the views or sentiments expressed in the video, nor does it condone the airing of it.”
“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,” the company added.
The newspaper noted that Sun-Maid was founded in Fresno in 1912 and has connections with California’s San Joaquin Valley.
The pulled sponsorship comes after the Fresno Grizzlies, the class AAA affiliate of the Washington Nationals, aired a 3 1/2-minute Memorial Day tribute video showing the freshman congresswoman with the North Korean leader and the former Cuban president.
The team in a tweet on Tuesday said they “unconditionally apologize” to Ocasio-Cortez.
The New York Democrat responded by saying she is flooded with death threats when organizations air these “hateful messages.”
“I‘ve had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me,” the 29-year-old lawmaker wrote on Twitter.
What people don’t (maybe do) realize is when orgs air these hateful messages, my life changes bc of the flood of death threats they inspire.
I‘ve had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me. https://t.co/hiYbPghad7
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 28, 2019
The Grizzlies elaborated on its apology in a Wednesday statement, saying the video was not produced, created or commissioned by the team but taken “carelessly” from YouTube.
“The airing of the video in the ballpark was the result of an unintentional oversight by an employee who did not view the video in its entirety,” the company said. “The employee responsible has been reprimanded by the organization.”
The statement continued, “We understand the dangers and ramifications of what was shown. We have publicly apologized to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. Regardless of your political viewpoint, we believe that all people who dedicate their lives to public service deserve respect.”