Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz slams Donald Trump

Sep 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) reacts before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) reacts before the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz recently spoke about his opinion on Donald Trump’s immigration policy. As usual, Ortiz was quite open and candid.

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz hit one hard directly at presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

In case one has been living in a cave and communicating by smoke signals, Trump has been an outspoken critic of immigration policy and that certainly struck a nerve with Big Papi. Ortiz, a native Dominican, responded with several pointed comments directed at Trump.

"“Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy. Whoever opposes that is going to lose. And not just Latin people but immigrants. I’m talking about people who come from Africa, from Asia, other places. All those people come here with one goal, to realize the American dream, and you have to include them in our group.” – David Ortiz"

Historically, when celebrities weigh in on hot-button issues there are nods of agreement or sneers about another stupid jock, depending upon how one sits on the political fence. Ortiz certainly is not shy about being public and having any filters as his famous Boston Marathon speech at Fenway Park is a shining example. So Ortiz was a ready-made source for opinions on Trump and immigration – especially Hispanic immigration.

In this instance, Ortiz does have some genuine merit on the subject since he does fit into a niche that Ortiz feels Trump has singled out. As a public personality, his opinion will be sought since it is newsworthy and anything Papi sells. Ortiz was not bashful – he never is – and was rather blunt in his opinion of Trump and immigration.

"“When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face,” Ortiz said of Latinos in general. “I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard. … As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.” – David Ortiz"

On the other side of the political table is Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, who is a Trump supporter. Buchholz’s affinity to Trump dates back to 2008 and he readily admits he is a political neophyte and leaves it at that. That is a position that Ortiz also subscribes to since he does not follow politics closely and generally refrains from comments, with this being an exception.

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Athletes generally avoid the limelight of political controversy, but occasionally an issue or candidate will resonate. Recently Colin Kaepernick created a firestorm over his one-man protest by refusing to stand for the national anthem. Carlos Delgado many years ago refused to stand for “God Bless America” when it was sung. Mohammed Ali certainly is the most notable athlete to protest. Ortiz is not protesting a thing, just making a newsworthy comment.

Ortiz is not forming a political action committee, manning the telephones, having a $50,000 a plate dinner or doing any whistle-stop tours on the political circuit. Ortiz is far more interested in the task at hand – having his retirement stretch into late October.

Politics is not new to the Red Sox.

The Red Sox had Curt Schilling as a key for years on the mound and Schilling has an illustrious history of making comments that either get reams of agreement or Schilling suspended and fired. Schilling is even contemplating a Senate run in Massachusetts.

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Ortiz will get little blowback from his recent comments since he does have skin in the game. Papi also is not one that is seeking some type of affirmation since he has readily admitted his lack of interest in politics. This will be – unlike Kaepernick – a stand-alone issue.

Sources: Washington Post/Yahoo Sports/NY Times