A number of prominent athletes and other public figures have used their platforms in recent days to express disdain toward the United States.
One former MLB star is bucking that trend, however. According to reports, Ozzie Guillén delivered an impassioned monologue during a segment on NBC Sports this week.
“Opportunities opened the door for me”
The Venezuelan-born American citizen made it clear that there is no other country he would want to call home, calling the United States a “special” place to live.
“People don’t know how hard that is,” he said of life in his native country. “How many people die. … How many people want to be American. This is an honor for me.”
Asked why he was getting emotional, the naturalized citizen declared: “Opportunities, man. … Opportunities opened the door for me. I’ve been living in this country for a long time. Me and my family [came here] at great cost; it opened the door for them to be who they are.”
His words came as a clear contrast to the actions of Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who turned her back while The Star-Spangled Banner played during a recent ceremony and later tweeted: “The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has.”
U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) took that narrative a step further in her Independence Day statement, declaring that the holiday only reflects freedom “for white people,” asserting that America “is stolen land and Black people still aren’t free.”
“Despite our self-congratulatory rhetoric”
Bush received some praise from the left, including Democratic congressional candidate Shahid Buttar, who shared his own perspective in a tweet.
“It’s almost as if our entire country has been brainwashed to ignore our history — and how its worst elements continue today — despite our self-congratulatory rhetoric,” he wrote.
Former MSNBC personality Toure added to the incendiary language, tweeting: “F*** Independence Day. Not only were we not free, the whole reason the Colonies wanted independence was because Britain was moving toward abolishing slavery.”
Of course, the United Kingdom did not actually abolish slavery until nearly seven decades after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Many of the nation’s founders did own slaves, although others, including John Adams, were personally opposed to the practice.