Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off on Grizzlies-AOC controversy

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in this file photo. The Fresno Grizzlies played a Memorial Day video that included an image of Ocasio-Cortez with those of Kim Jong Un and Fidel Castro.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in this file photo. The Fresno Grizzlies played a Memorial Day video that included an image of Ocasio-Cortez with those of Kim Jong Un and Fidel Castro. AP

It is time to forgive the Grizzlies

What a shame that we are so quick to judge one another nowadays instead of taking time to understand an issue. The Fresno Grizzlies have been raked over the coals because one individual did not carefully review the video which was shown on Memorial Day. It was not the fault of the team or the management that this happened. It was the error of one individual. Are we really all so fragile that we cannot forgive a mistake?

The Fresno Grizzlies have been and continue to be a great asset to our city and the Central Valley. It is a place where people of all ages can come and enjoy the great American sport of baseball. I hope with careful thought our community can forgive this unfortunate incident and continue to support the Grizzlies.

Betty Cornelisen, Fresno

Column on Grizzlies missed the mark

I disagree with Marek Warszawski’s column (The Bee, May 31) rationalizing the Grizzlies’ video equating Alexandrea Ocasio Cortez to Kim Jong Un and Fidel Castro as an unintentional mistake. Warszawski states that because the Grizzlies reflect and celebrate diversity by promoting a taco night and lowriders, they do not sound like an organization that would intentionally denigrate a popular Latina politician.

First of all, the Grizzlies sell tacos for financial reasons, and is not a reflection of their political views. This is about politics, not tacos, and we will never know if it was an unintentional mistake. Then Warszawski bashes Sun-Maid Co. and its management with personal attacks for severing ties with the Grizzlies (not good).

AOC is an American citizen and congresswoman elected by her constituents. So don’t make this a Latino issue. If the video had included Devin Nunes or Kevin McCarthy, you can bet Grizzlies’ supporters would be singing a different tune and not so forgiving. Sun-Maid and other business severing ties with the Grizzlies have their own customer base and business plans to follow. They should not bear responsibility for a Grizzlies screw up. Your criticism of Sun-Maid was inappropriate.

Ray Cortez, Fresno

Stay with democracy, all will be fine

Socialism never hurt anyone; totalitarianism and dictatorships have been disastrous throughout history. Anyway, we are already a socialist country — like all the other Western democracies.

What are farm subsidies if not a socialist practice, or Social Security, or Medicaid? Other industries besides farming are also supported with government subsidies, just like in communist China. So don’t fall for that socialism-is-tyrannical thing. Capitalism can also be totalitarian and dictatorial — like in Russia. Just stick to democracy and we will be fine.

Cherith Merson, Fresno

Staff mistake not acceptable excuse

As a retired public school administrator I can only say if a similar error were made with the community of K-8 families I served, and we took a political stand such as was done by Grizzly management, the harm would have been irreparable.

Pleading that a mistake was made by my staff would not have worked. Parents of all political stripes whose children attended my school would have been protesting with banners, and the school board would likely have made “a decision” about me. Personally, I doubt the error excuse.

At minimum, negative conversations about AOC were likely part of the work environment. Lesson: keep politics out of the workplace.

Jackie Newman, Fresno

Fiala got it right in his latest column

Kudos and much thanks to Andrew Fiala for his well said, well expressed, well written, well done column on the Grizzlies video debacle (The Bee, June 2). I just wish that for the benefit of civilization the majority of individuals on both sides of the social media aisle actually read newspapers or commentaries fully to actually understand and respect differing viewpoints in an intelligent as well as non-combative manner.

Thanks also to Marek Warszawski for his contribution on this topic.

Robert S. Pringle, Fresno

Did not need extra view on AOC

The article “Grizzlies in hot water . . .” by Robert Rodriguez and Brianna Calix was irresponsible journalism. It would have been sufficient to state “Although Bredefeld makes it clear that he disagrees with Ocasio-Ortez’s politics, he felt that comparing ‘Ocasio-Cortez to two dictators was inappropriate.’” To include his expounded views about her did not add anything to the point of the article and gave a stronger voice to the very sort of judgments that prompted someone to doctor the video in the first place.

Also, the poor employee who in haste (aren’t we all in a hurry these days?) made the mistake has probably been sufficiently reprimanded in house and, unfortunately, on a national scale. Time to move on. It seems pretty clear that the showing of the video with its egregious alteration was not done on purpose. The making of the video with the egregious alteration, however, was done on purpose. Of course, that person is protected by the First Amendment, although I do wonder if some copyright rules were broken. Where’s the outrage regarding his/her actions?

Lastly, I recommend that when using an acronym (i.e., AOC), let the reader know what it means.

Sandra L. Scott, Coarsegold

Calling AOC an enemy is proper

What’s the big deal with the Grizzlies’ video? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a socialist, she supports socialist ideas, and I don’t see what is wrong in saying because of her socialist political ideas, that she is one of a group that are considered (as Reagan said) “potential enemies of freedom.”

John Williams, Fresno

Furor over AOC, Grizzlies is hypocritical

What hypocrisy. We are subjected every day with demeaning and disrespectful articles and cartoons denigrating the president, and yet nothing is said. And when AOC is depicted in a video among enemies of freedom, everyone is offended.

AOC belongs there along, with her two anti-Semitic minions who, if they have their way, will see to it that we live in a socialist country, scrapping for food from trash cans like the Venezuelans.

And why is the recourse boycotts and removal of sponsorships of our team, which has done so much for Fresno. Shame on all of you! And while I’m at it, Gov. Newsom, you have continually made this used-to-be-great state a haven for illegals and now invite women nationwide to come and abort their babies, giving us the new title, the State of Baby Killers. How can you look at your own beautiful children and not know that they were once just a blob of tissue living in your wife that could have easily been aborted instead of continuing to develop into the children you now have. Unbelievable.

And shame on you for judging the decisions of other states. They have every right to make laws in their states.

P.S. Backhaus, Fresno

Grizzlies’ president should step down

It has been so hard to hear about the events that happened on Memorial Day at our Grizzlies Stadium. Our stadium should be a safe haven for sports fans, a place to relax and enjoy with the whole family. Certainly, it should have never been a place for hateful political narrative.

The poor explanation and completely insincere apologies of Derek Franks fell short, and as a result, three sponsors have left. What? A mistake? Not likely. He couldn’t have watchd 3 ½ minutes of tape? He is the manager, and as such, he should have supervised everything. Now, the only thing for him to do is resign. Let new management come and try to mend the broken ties to the sponsors and to the community. That would be the only ethical thing to do.

He certainly can’t restore the bad name he has placed our city in the eyes of the whole nation. More than time for you to leave, Mr. Franks!

Patty Gibson, Fresno

AOC has freedom of speech, why not Grizzlies?

I totally agree with Marek Warszawski’s take (The Bee, May 31) on the Grizzlies’ video. What’s happened to freedom of speech? AOC (sorry, cannot bring myself to say her name) is allowed to say all the what I consider off the wall, crazy things about this country, but no one else is? As for me I will not be drinking Heineken beer or eating Sun Maid raisins. Additionally if the Fresno Bee drops their sponsorship/support for the Grizzlies, I will no longer subscribe to your newspaper.

Kate Adams, Springville

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