It was the first time in 18 months that a live audience could attend a major league baseball game at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium. As a reduced-capacity crowd of more than 15,000 people gathered at Friday afternoon’s home opener to celebrate the franchise’s World Series championship from last season, many in attendance took the opportunity to express their displeasure for Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The Los Angeles Times reported, “For more than a year, we’ve been warned that singing, chanting and yelling is best avoided, for fear of exhaling virus-carrying droplets. On Friday, thousands of fans at Dodger Stadium exhaled loudly, booing Garcetti as if he were Chase Utley in New York.”
According to FOX News, “Garcetti was on hand for the ceremony commemorating the Dodgers’ victory in the World Series last fall.” The outlet reported, “When the mayor was introduced as the team prepared to raise its championship banner at Dodger Stadium, fans responded with jeers.”
FOX 11 investigative reporter Bill Melugin amplified video of the crowd’s reaction on social media, tweeting, “Garcetti got booed bigtime.”
Yikes…LA Mayor Eric Garcetti got booed bigtime by the limited capacity crowd at the Dodgers game. https://t.co/lifQIB1JvC
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) April 9, 2021
Garcetti was introduced over the public address system just before the championship banner was raised, along with L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo, Dodgers Spanish language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, as well as Dodgers co-owners Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who led the L.A. Lakers to five championships, and Billie Jean King, a former tennis star.
The Wrap noted, “Garcetti was wearing a Dodger-themed face mask when his name was announced, so his reaction to the booing wasn’t totally discernible, but he carried on waving and clapping like any seasoned politician would.”
People’s City Council – L.A., an activist alliance convened by Black Lives Matter, also shared video of the moment, posting, “Los Angeles f*cking hates you, Eric.”
Watch @MayorOfLA get boo’d by the fans at Dodgers Stadium. Los Angeles fucking hates you, Eric.
— People's City Council – Los Angeles (@PplsCityCouncil) April 9, 2021
Another Twitter user wrote, “Hearing Garcetti booed today makes me wonder if we’re not all miserable together here.”
Hearing Garcetti booed today makes me wonder if we're not all miserable together here.
— Son of Sheev! (@SonOfSheev) April 9, 2021
In addition to raising the banner, the Dodgers received their World Series rings during the pregame festivities, recognizing the team’s first title in more than three decades. The Times reported that the franchise also paid tribute to Tommy Lasorda, the legendary Dodgers manager who died of a heart attack on January 7.
L.A. went on to defeat the Washington Nationals 1-0 on Friday, improving to 6-2 and remaining at the top of the National League West standings.
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Garcetti and embattled Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom have faced widespread scrutiny over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Critics have argued that some of the strict guidelines enacted during the pandemic were ineffective and hurt local businesses.
Garcetti isn’t the only politician who has contended with rowdy fans in recent days. Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot were booed while taking the field at the Chicago White Sox home opener on Thursday night.