While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) doesn’t generate as many embarrassing gaffes as President Joe Biden, her most recent error definitely tops the list of cringe-worthy social media moments by sitting members of Congress.
According to the Daily Caller, Hall of Fame Major League Baseball (MLB) star Willie Mays turned 90 on Thursday, and to celebrate his long and storied life and career, Pelosi tweeted out birthday wishes for the player, complete with a picture posing next to him — but the baseball player she was next to in the picture was the wrong Willie.
Wait, what happened?
Pelosi drew attention in her tweet to Mays’ contributions to the civil rights movement and lauded his baseball career and involvement in youth sports.
“Happy 90th Birthday to an all-American icon, Willie Mays. A trailblazing, record-breaking baseball player, civil rights leader, and champion for youth sports and well-being, Willie Mays is a civic legend and national treasure,” the 81-year-old California Democrat wrote in the now-deleted tweet.
It was quickly realized by the social media world — and presumably, Pelosi’s social media team — that someone made a glaring mistake, as the player in the picture attached to the tweet was not Willie Mays.
Instead, in the attached picture, Pelosi could be seen kneeling next to former San Francisco Giant’s MLB player Willie McCovey, who passed away in 2018. Yikes.
Mays and McCovey played together in San Francisco for several years and both are famous, Hall of Fame-level Black athletes. Not surprisingly, Pelosi was dragged on social media for the humiliating mistake.
Blame the staffer
As is typical when politicians embarrass themselves online, Pelosi’s office was quick to delete the original tweet and replace it with a new version, blaming a “staffer” for the humiliating mix-up.
“A staffer inadvertently selected the wrong photo for the tweet. The photo we wanted to use was of the Speaker and Willie Mays at Willie McCovey’s August 2018 wedding. The quickly deleted photo was the wrong photo from the right wedding. We apologize for the error,” a statement read.
According to the New York Post, the glaring error even angered Black activists such as Hawk Newsome, a New York City Black Lives Matter member, who said Pelosi should be focusing on other Black issues.
“Instead of symbolic gestures, like putting up pictures of baseball players, how about she talk about reparations,” Newsome said. “That’s the problem with Democrats, we vote for them first and they think about us last.”
The Post added that they were unable to reach Mays for comment.