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It turns out if you liken Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Kim Jong Un, there are consequences.
Heineken and Sun-Maid both terminated their sponsorship deals this week with the Fresno Grizzlies, the minor-league affiliate of the Washington Nationals, after the team broadcast a video that attacked AOC at its stadium on Memorial Day. The video featured a speech by Ronald Reagan — and when Reagan mentioned “enemies of freedom,” the montage featured images of the North Korean dictator Kim, former Cuban President Fidel Castro, black-flag anarchists, and Ocasio-Cortez.
California’s Class AAA Fresno Grizzlies has apologized for the Memorial Day tribute video — which a single employee apparently pulled from YouTube — but brands are still running away.
Heineken International confirmed to The Fresno Bee that it was cutting ties with the Grizzlies. Two of its brands, Tecate and Dos Equis, both tweeted that they were no longer working with the team.
Separately, Sun-Maid confirmed to Newsweek that its partnership with the team was over.
“Sun-Maid does not support the views or sentiments expressed in the video, nor does it condone the airing of it,” a Sun-Maid spokesperson said. “While the Grizzlies have apologized for this mistake, we are standing on the side of what we believe is right and terminating our sponsorship of the team.”
Ocasio-Cortez, while a star among progressive Democrats, is seen as something of a boogeyman for Republicans and the right and a harbinger of a more-radical Democratic Party gaining ground in the United States. AOC responded to the video by saying that such events trigger a “flood of death threats” against her.
“I don’t even get to see all of them,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this week. “Just the ones that have been flagged as particularly troubling.”
Cover image: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks at the final event for the Road to the Green New Deal Tour at Howard University in Washington, Monday, May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)