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David Ortiz was sharply critical of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in an interview published Tuesday.
The Boston Red Sox legend, who is in the midst of a yearlong retirement tour during his final professional season, told USA Today that Trump’s comments about Latinos represented “a slap in the face.”
The 40-year-old slugger said Trump’s plan to build a massive wall along the US-Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it – in addition to saying the Mexican government was sending criminals and “rapists” across the border – “didn’t sit well with me.”
“When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face,” Ortiz said of Latinos. “I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard.”
“As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from,” Ortiz continued. “And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work. Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy. Whoever opposes that is going to lose. And not just Latin people, but immigrants. I’m talking about people who come from Africa, from Asia, other places. All those people come here with one goal, to realize the American dream, and you have to include them in our group.”
Trump last week delivered what was billed as a major speech focusing on his immigration policy. After more than a week of talk that Trump would be “softening” his immigration approach, the Republican nominee gave no such signs during the lengthy speech.
That speech came after a meeting in Mexico with the country’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, during which Trump said he did not discuss payment of the wall with the foreign leader. Peña Nieto later said he insisted that Mexico would not pay for the massive wall.