President Donald Trump ignited a firestorm on Monday by awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, a Baseball Hall of Famer and a longtime Trump friend.
Rivera, who emigrated here from Panama, is a baseball legend.
During his career, the Yankee great notched an impressive 652 regular season and 42 postseason saves.
Hall of Fame voters also made him the first player ever unanimously elected.
Here’s how President Trump decided to honor him and his achievements.
In a short while I will be presenting the New York @Yankees @MarianoRivera, the greatest relief pitcher (Closer!) of all time, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the @WhiteHouse!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 16, 2019
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As Bloomberg noted, “President Donald Trump awarded New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera with the nation’s highest civilian honor on Monday, weeks after the major league’s all-time-saves leader was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
Rivera is 49; he received the award at an afternoon ceremony at the White House. “He becomes the latest in a series of athletes Trump has recognized with the award, following ceremonies for NBA hall-of-famers Jerry West and Bob Cousy and professional golfer Tiger Woods earlier this year,” as Bloomberg also noted.
“The ceremonies have become a way for Trump to celebrate athletic achievement despite reluctance by many championship-winning professional sports teams to appear at White House ceremonies amid controversies over the president’s rhetoric and immigration policies.”
The former Yankees closer served as a co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. “He has lived the American dream,” Trump said on Monday.
Rivera is a devout Christian: As he told the Washington Examiner recently, “As a Christian, I do believe that the Lord gave us the Bible.”
President John F. Kennedy began the Medal of Freedom award as a way to honor individuals who have contributed significantly to American culture or the national interest through public or private actions.
However, none of that matters to the “outrage mob,” as I see it.
Liberals are predictably frothing at the mouth over the award because they are angry people suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Being a Yankees fan I love Mariano Rivera but it's very disappointing that he's going to get a medal from Trump. I'm sorry to say it. It's just that Trump is so despicable.
— G Callahan (@GCallahan2) September 16, 2019
Serious question: Other than being a great pitcher, Trump supporter and on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, can someone please tell me what Mariano Rivera has done to deserve the nation's highest civilian honor? https://t.co/QlzL86nx7Q
— Ron Clements (@Ron_Clements) September 16, 2019
Do liberals see the irony in all of this?
They’re spitting mad that Trump, who they claim is “racist,” is giving an award to a Hispanic friend of his.
Rivera responded to the backlash by saying, “I respect him [Trump]. I respect what he does. I believe that he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”
He went on to say that Trump was “a friend” of his before he — Trump — became president.
“[Now that he’s] president, will I turn my back on him? No,” declared Rivera.
Good for him!
This piece originally appeared in WayneDupree.com and is used by permission.
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