Heineken International is the latest company to pull its sponsorship from the Fresno Grizzlies after the California minor-league baseball team showed an inflammatory video likening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and other “enemies of freedom” during a Memorial Day game.
Heineken brands Tecate and Dos Equis released statements Thursday saying that the video does not represent their values.
“Tecate has always been about togetherness and we do not support the views expressed in the video, that was aired during the Fresno Grizzlies game on Memorial day. We have ended this relationship effective immediately and have let the team know of our decision,” the brand said in a tweet.
Both brands were advertised at Grizzlies games prior to the bizarre stunt at Chukchansi Park, which the team apologized for earlier this week.
The 3 1/2-minute video featured President Ronald Reagan speaking about freedom over images of U.S. military servicemen. Toward the end, a photo of Ocasio-Cortez appears alongside images of antifa demonstrators, Fidel Castro and Kim as Reagan addresses “the enemies of freedom.”
“Those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people,” Reagan says.
The team said it was meant to be “a moving tribute” to American military service members on Memorial Day that was preproduced “outside our front office,” but ended with “some misleading and offensive editing.”
“We’re embarrassed we allowed this video to play without seeing it in its entirety first. We unconditionally apologize to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez in addition to our fans, community and those we hurt,” the team said in a tweet. “It was a mistake and we will ensure that nothing like it ever happens again.
“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,” she wrote, explaining how on some mornings “the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me.”
Sun-Maid became the first major advertiser to drop the team, saying it was “deeply disappointed” in the decision to air the video, but other advertisers, including Toyota, appear to have accepted the apology.
See the video below.
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