Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) failed to congratulate baseball legend Willie Mays on his 90th birthday on Thursday, May 6, after posting a picture of the wrong, black MLB player.
“Happy 90th Birthday to an all-American icon, Willie Mays. A trailblazing, record-breaking baseball player, civil rights leader, and champion for youth sports and well-being, Willie Mays is a civic legend and national treasure,” Pelosi tweeted her wishes to Mays.
It could have been all fine, except for the picture embedded in the post, with Pelosi smiling next to a black Hall of Famer who spent nearly two decades playing for the San Francisco Giants, Willie McCovey. The BLM player passed away three years ago at 80 years old.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) May 8, 2021
Thankfully, the House speaker’s Twitter account adjusted the botched attempt with a new image of Pelosi smiling with the right Willie legend.
Happy 90th Birthday to an all-American icon, Willie Mays. A trailblazing, record-breaking baseball player, civil rights leader, and champion for youth sports and well-being, Willie Mays is a civic legend and national treasure. #SayHey90https://t.co/KLinpgJ0yL pic.twitter.com/hlpnU4nYpH
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 7, 2021
In a statement to CBS San Francisco, Team Pelosi attributed to mistake to a staffer error, the New York Post reported.
“The photo we wanted to use was of the speaker and Willie Mays at Willie McCovey’s August 2018 wedding. The quickly deleted photo was the wrong photo from the right wedding. We apologize for the error,” the statement read.
The Post added that Pelosi’s attention to the star was just a typical Democratic outreach to famous figures rather than committing to actual actions for the issues they breach about.
“Instead of symbolic gestures, like putting up pictures of baseball players, how about she talk about reparations. That’s the problem with Democrats, we vote for them first and they think about us last,” Hawk Newsome, a New York City Black Lives Matter activist told the Post.
Mays started his professional career when he was 16 years old, playing for the Birmingham Barons in the Negro Leagues, admired for his 660 home runs over the course of his long career. Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 and is generally regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in history.
Aside from Mays’ incredible sports career, he was a BLM activist who runs the Say Hey Foundation, the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, and has devoted a great contribution to helping youngsters suffering from domestic violence.