Cardinals GM: ‘Perfectly fine’ for Fowler to speak ‘from his heart’

Posted: 21/02/2017 in MLB, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

dexter-fowler

Dexter Fowler reaffirmed Monday he “didn’t say anything wrong” when he lamented the “unfortunate” effect Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban – restricting access to the United States for citizens from of seven predominantly Muslim countries – had on him and his family.

His new boss, St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, agrees.

“When I first read about it and heard about it, I really think three things came to my mind,” Mozeliak told ESPN’s Mark Saxon on Tuesday. “One is, if you’re Dexter Fowler and you have something affect you on a personal level, you certainly can have an opinion on that.

He continued: “And what he said was not political; what he said was something from his heart, and what his family’s dealing with. And to me, that’s perfectly fine.”

Fowler, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Cardinals earlier this offseason, also suggested his comments were apolitical, insisting Monday that his response to a question “asked out of empathy for (his) family was “taken out of context.” Still, that didn’t deter legions of Cardinals fans from rebuking their newly signed leadoff hitter for his political views.

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“It’s huge. Especially any time you’re not able to see your family, it’s unfortunate.” – Dexter Fowler

Mozeliak, however, stressed that Fowler – whose wife, Aliya, immigrated to the US from Iran with her parents when she was five years old – was merely speaking out of concern for his family. (Fowler’s sister-in-law, Sadaf Baghbani, delayed her return to the US from a business trip in Qatar to avoid being detained, and a proposed trip to Iran to visit extended family has been shelved.)

“Secondly,” Mozeliak continued, “I think what he is simply trying to convey is that he wants his family to be able to come and go. And you can respect that.

“And third, I feel like, when you have a player that represents our organization and Major League Baseball, it’s fine that he has social awareness and is able to speak on that. To me, that’s one of the exciting parts of getting to know him, and seeing how he works with his teammates and other players, but to me, I think that’s one of the key things that makes him special.”

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