Dexter Fowler suits up with St. Louis Cardinals
The newest member of the St. Louis Cardinals has found himself at the middle of a controversy over a quote he gave to ESPN this weekend that some saw as opposition to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Fowler, who signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals during the off-season after helping the rival Chicago Cubs break a 108-year World Series drought last year, is married to a woman from Iran. Fowler said he was reluctant to travel with his wife and their daughter to Iran because the country was one of seven that Trump listed in an executive order that ultimately was blocked by the courts.
“It’s huge,” Fowler told ESPN’s Mark Saxon. “Especially any time you’re not able to see family, it’s unfortunate.”
Fowler’s comment was picked up by several media outlets and drew harsh criticism. A Facebook page that says it’s for true St. Louis Cardinals fans had more than 600 comments on a post about his comments. A Yahoo writer added up the common responses on the page to Fowler’s comments. There were 77 people who wrote “play ball” and another 15 who went with “just play baseball.” There were 54 people who said Fowler should “shut up” and 30 told him to go back to the Cubs. The Yahoo article said that about 75 percent of those who responded disparaged him.
Fowler tried to take the criticism in stride. He tweeted Sunday that he was going to do a giveaway “for the good people.” He followed that with a tweet that reminded people that athletes are human, too.