Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez of California earned widespread condemnation earlier this week during the annual congressional softball game for charity when she appeared to flip ‘the bird’ to Republican lawmakers on the opposing team.
On Friday Sanchez said in a statement to Fox News that she heard “an offensive and misogynistic comment” after she earned a walk during her time at bat in Thursday’s game, which Republicans won 10-0. She said the alleged remark “struck a nerve” and prompted the gesture.
“The Congressional Baseball Game is one of my favorite events of the year. It’s a great cause and brings both sides of the aisle together for a night off from partisan politics,” the statement read. “That is why it really struck a nerve when I heard an offensive and misogynistic comment from the Republican side on my way back to the dugout.”
After she led off with a walk in the sixth inning, Sanchez was pulled and a pinch runner was put in her place on first base. As she made her way back to the dugout, she looked at GOP lawmakers and raised a middle finger.
Democrat Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA) flips off the Republican dug out. Her team got blown out 10-0.pic.twitter.com/CgPOaEsLs4
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 29, 2022
“In the heat of the moment, I reacted. I have no tolerance for men who make women feel like they are unimportant or don’t belong — especially on the field,” she noted further in her statement. “I will always stand against that kind of bigotry.”
At the time, Sanchez did not say who made the remark or what they specifically said.
But on Friday, according to NBC News’ Frank Thorp, Sanchez told him that she wasn’t flipping off Republicans, but rather an “obnoxious fan” in the stands watching the game who she says shouts similar things at her every year.
“It wasn’t the team. It was an obnoxious fan who shouts misogynistic s–t at me every single year,” she said.
Meanwhile, Rep @LindaTSanchez that she was not flipping off the GOP team at the Cong Baseball game last night, telling me, "It wasn't the team. It was an obnoxious fan who shouts misogynistic shit at me every single year."
Saying "it's the same guy" every year. pic.twitter.com/NOTUiGHPnp
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 29, 2022
She did not, however, give any specifics about the remark.
“I’m not going to dignify it with a response because it’s nasty and it’s crude, and it has no place at a charity baseball game,” she said.
But Sanchez did lash out at Republican women who she said had not come to her defense and instead lashed out at her when they thought she was flipping off the GOP team — though, again, she has not publicly described the remark made to her nor did she clarify until a day later that a fan said it, not a GOP team member.
“If the Republican women would have stood up and said that’s not acceptable instead of, you know, trashing me for my response then we might have a place where there’s no misogyny that’s tolerated by anybody anywhere,” she claimed.
Perhaps the Republican trouncing of the Democrats on the softball field is a sign of what lies ahead in the November midterms.