I wasn’t the only one to think about what Big Papi said after the 2013 Boston bombing. “This is our f–king city!” became the city’s rally. Recently, President Obama referenced Big Papi and his inspiriting statement in an interview with ESPN during a Cuban baseball game. Obama’s statement came in the wake of the tragic terrorist attack in Brussels.
Part of President Obama’s recent diplomatic trip to Cuba included watching a baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team. Unfortunately, the terrorist attack in Brussels that took place earlier reminded many in baseball of the horrible Boston Marathon Bombing back in 2013 that killed 3 and injured 264. David Ortiz took the mic at Fenway Park before a game shortly after the bombing and said, “This is our f–king city!” Big Papi’s rally not only made the crowd cheer, but also became one of President Obama’s proudest moments.
“One of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the
marathon,” Obama told ESPN announcers during the game. “Probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with somebody cursing on live TV was when he talked about Boston and how strong it was and that it wasn’t going to be intimidated.” President Obama added, “What they can do is scare and make people afraid and disrupt our daily lives and divide us. And as long as we don’t allow that to happen, we’re going to be OK.”
President Obama’s trip marks the first time a president has traveled to Cuba since 1928. The two countries continue to repair relations after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis almost led the two countries into war. In response to the crisis, the United States placed an embargo on Cuba. The effects of the embargo impacted Cuban players in America when then-President Fidel Castro announced that any player who left Cuba to play in the United States would be permanently banned from reentry. Fortunately, the U.S. and Cuba have eased those restrictions.
Since the Boston Marathon Bombing, Big Papi’s words have become a rallying cry for many, especially those in the Red Sox Nation. As the United States and its allies continue to fight terrorism, Big Papi’s words should serve as a reminder to us all that we will never be intimidated by terrorism.