ESPN secured a high-profile guest for an exclusive interview on Wednesday night: President Joe Biden.
The 46th Commander-in-Chief sat down with host Sage Steele to cover a variety of topics that centered on sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. With MLB’s Opening Day on Thursday, the conversation centered around baseball and how the country should navigate enjoying the pastime while being safe.
President Biden explained that fans and citizen have to prioritize safety for the next few months in order to maximize the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
“People have to be responsible. They have to continue to wear a mask when they’re around someone…” Biden said. “You have to wash your hands and keep social distancing and so, it’s going to be a little while… You have a patriotic duty to protect the people around you.”
Here’s a look at Joe Biden’s full interview with ESPN:
Steele went on to ask President Biden about the Texas Rangers decision to host fans at full capacity on Opening Day. Globe Life Field seats up to 40,300 people and is the only MLB stadium that will allow 100 percent crowd capacity to start the season.
“Well, that’s a decision they made. I think it’s a mistake,” Biden said. “They should listen to Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But I think it’s not responsible.”
Biden also lauded professional athletes for using their platforms to discuss issues outside of sports. He specifically spoke about the recent calls to boycott athletic events in Georgia, in response to a new restrictive voting rights law.
“People look to them,” Biden said, referring to professional athletes. “They’re leaders. Look at what happened with the NBA, as well. Look what’s happened across the board. The very people who were victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports, and it’s just not right. This is Jim Crow on steroids what they’re doing in Georgia and 40 other states. What’s it all about? Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in line to vote. Can’t do that? Come on. Or you’re going to close the polling place at 5 o’clock when people just get off? This is all about keeping working folks that I grew up with from being able to vote.”
Biden’s interview aired on ESPN at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.
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