On Wednesday, legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera, who was the first player ever unanimously voted into the Hall and was inducted on Sunday, appeared on Fox & Friends and spoke about the article that appeared in The Daily Beast on Sunday attacking him for his Christian faith, his support of the state of Israel, and his friendship with President Trump. Rivera noted quietly that Jesus Christ was a Jew, adding, “How am I going to turn my back, and say I won’t support Israel?” Regarding Trump, he commented, “I respect him. I respect what he does. And I believe that he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”
Host Steve Doocy mentioned the article in The Daily Beast in which the writer attacked Rivera for his Christian faith, his support of the state of Israel, and his service of “a racist president.” The article reads, “over the past three years, he’s also served at the pleasure of a racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf of a far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons. None of this will be inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque. It should, even if much of the sports world would very much like to pretend none of it exists.”
Doocy said to Rivera, “You had not seen that until we talked about it this morning, What do you make of that?”
Well, I’ll tell you what, I mean, Mr. President Trump, to me, he was a friend of mine before he became the president, OK? So, I mean, because as he’s president, I will turn my back on him? No. No. I respect him. I respect what he does. And I believe that he’s doing the best for the United States of America.
Doocy interjected, “So you’re a Trump fan?”
Rivera replied, “I’m his friend. I’m his friend. When it comes to Israel, you know, as a Christian, my Savior Jesus Christ, he’s a Jew, okay, so how am I going to turn my back, and say I won’t support Israel?”
Host Brian Kilmeade asked, “So your message to that writer is?”
Rivera answered, “You have the power to say whatever you want to say, but that won’t change my position, and that won’t change my belief.”
Before that exchange, Rivera spoke of how he came to his Christian faith, consistently citing it as he spoke about his life. Host Ainsley Earhardt asked, “What’s your story? How did you come to know God?”
Rivera recalled, “Adversities. Age 24, my wife got sick; my boy got sick; she got chicken pox when he was in her womb for six months. The doctor told her to stay away from people with chicken pox, and that thing was infected that year. He was supposed to be born with that vertebra thing open; his head would have been growing, growing, growing, until the point that he would die. But a friend of ours took us to — we were in Tampa, and they were at a women’s conference, they took her and they prayed for her and he was healed.”
Kilmeade noted that Rivera was supposed to be a starting pitcher initially, but wound up being the greatest relief pitcher of all time. He asked Rivera why.
Rivera answered, “That’s a good question to ask the Lord when we go to heaven. What happened? Because I was just happy to be in the big leagues regardless of what I was doing, as a starter, as a reliever, as a closer. Little did I know that the Lord has a lot of things for me in my path that I didn’t know.”