New York. On Thursday, MLB commemorated another edition of Roberto Clemente Day, and while the New York Mets collided with the Pittsburgh Pirates, three other mixed groups were also present at Citi Field in this city, although the faces were not seen.
The Government of Puerto Rico, represented by Governor Pedro Pierluisi, was one of those groups. He participated as part of the initiatives he has created to celebrate in September the 50th anniversary of the 3,000th hit of the four-time American League batting championship winner with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“The event achieved its goal. The fans and spectators enjoyed it. I was pleased that a large part of the Puerto Rican community that was there wore the jersey alluding to the campaign to retire Major League Baseball number 21. It was possible to highlight the career and legacy of Roberto Clemente and it helped us to continue promoting Puerto Rico through all the national and international media that also covered the event,” the governor said in written statements.
The other two sectors were the Clemente family, protagonist every year of the Roberto Clemente Day; and a group of Puerto Rican activists from New York who demonstrated against Governor Pierluisi from the stands of Citi Field.
The Clemente family did not meet the governor at the park, said Clemente’s second son, Luis Roberto.
The relationship between the Government and the Clemente family is not the best. In July, the governor signed Law 67 of 2022 that transfers the land where the Roberto Clemente Sports City in Carolina is located to the Department of Recreation and Sports. In August, the family sued the Government of Puerto Rico for the unauthorized use of the Puerto Rican star’s name and image on the 2023 label of the Department of Transportation and Public Works.
Meanwhile, the demonstrators carried signs in protest against Pierluisi and the company LUMA Energy. The group was ejected by stadium security in the eighth inning of the Pirates-Mets game.
David Galarza, from the activist group Call to Action on Puerto Rico, said they are disgusted with the “corrupt, privatizing government, unconcerned about Storm Fiona,” as he assured Pierluisi’s presence at Citi Field at a time when Puerto Rico prepares for potential power outages at businesses and homes.
“Between 5 and 6 of us went to show Pierluisi that the diaspora is concerned about all this,” said Galarza. “It’s disgusting that the governor uses the name of Clemente, who was a humanist figure, Puerto Rican, for his own benefit.”
Galarza said they never saw the governor at Citi Field. The governor’s press office did not locate Pierluisi inside the stadium.
The activist said that “a group of Pierluisi supporters” called the attention of Citi Field security to intervene with the demonstration. He added that security first asked the protesters not to put up the protest banners. He added that, later, at the height of the eighth entrance, they were escorted by a group of half a dozen security officers to the exit gates.
“It wasn’t that big of a deal,” Galarza said. “They let us enter the stadium with the banners. It was a peaceful demonstration.”
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The “mismatched” clashes of Citi Fields