- The Daily Beast published an editorial by Robert Silverman on Sunday titled, “Inside Baseball Hall of Famer Mariana Rivera’s Far-Right Politics.”
- On Sunday, Rivera was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame after he was unanimously elected in January.
- Silverman said, “over the past three years, [Rivera]’s also served at the pleasure ofa racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf ofa far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons.”
- Rivera responded on “FOX & Friends” on Wednesday. He said he wouldn’t turn his back on his friend President Donald Trump.
- “I respect him. I respect what he does, and I believe he’s doing what’s best for the United States of America,” Rivera said.
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The Daily Beast published an opinion piece by Robert Silverman on Sunday titled, “Inside Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera’s Far-Right Politics.”
Rivera, arguably the greatest closer ever, has always kept his off-field life very private, aside fromhis Christian faith. In 2014, hehelped renovate a church in New Rochelle, which serves as the home to his wife’s congregation. TheMariano Rivera Foundation is also dedicated to supporting the children of the future.
The editorial forced Rivera into uncharted territory and criticized him for being conservative.
In the article, Silverman writes that “over the past three years, [Rivera]’s also served at the pleasure ofa racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf ofa far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons.”
Silverman goes on to criticize Rivera for his “pro-Isreal activism” and “actions [that] make it clear his sympathies lie with the Trump administration.”
He also states that Rivera “has aligned with an even moreopenly extremist and Islamophobic Israel backer: Pastor John Hagee.”
During a time in whichathletes are publicly speaking out against President Donald Trump forposting racist tweets and separating children from their parents at the border, Rivera faced backlash.
Read more:John Kelly: It’s not ‘cruel’ to separate families at the border — children will be ‘put into foster care or whatever’
On Wednesday,Rivera appeared on “FOX & Friends” after being inducted into the Hall of Fame the same weekend the article was published.
Host Steve Doocy asked Rivera about his reaction to Silverman’s editorial.
“Trump to me was a friend of mine before he became the President,” Rivera said. “As a president, will I turn my back on him? No.
“I respect him. I respect what he does, and I believe he’s doing what’s best for the United States of America.”
Following Rivera’s unanimous election into the Hall of Fame, Trump posted a tweet congratulating him and thanking him for his support of the Opioid Drug Abuse Commission. Rivera joined Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition as a co-chair in March 2018 andintroduced a medical device for drug-free pain treatment.
Doocy asked Rivera if he was a Trump fan, to which Rivera said Trump is his “friend.”
Rivera also addressed Silverman’s criticism on his relations with Israel.
“As a Christian, my savior, Jesus Christ, he’s a Jew. How am I going to turn my back and say I won’t support Israel?”
In a final message to Silverman, Rivera made it clear that the editorial doesn’t affect him.
“You have the power to say whatever you want to say,” Rivera said. “That won’t change my position. That won’t change my belief.”
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