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.
MORE NEWS: Why the riots?
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
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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