The Republican team was leading 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Sanchez drew a leadoff walk. As she hustled back to the Democratic dugout on the third-base line at Nationals Park, the lawmaker turned her head toward the GOP bench on the first-base side, then raised her left hand and made the offensive gesture without breaking stride.
It’s unclear if something was said to Sanchez that prompted her to flip Republicans the bird. Her office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The GOP went on to win the seven-inning contest 10-0 in what Democrats must hope won’t be a preview of this fall’s midterm elections.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) July 29, 2022
After the game, Republicans and conservatives called out Sanchez for her display of poor sportsmanship during what is ostensibly a friendly game benefitting a local charity.
“Rep. Linda Sanchez is classless,” conservative author Nick Adams tweeted. “Giving the middle finger to the GOP Baseball team is hateful and divisive. Sanchez should be banned from all future Congressional baseball games and permanently stripped of all committees.”
“California Democrat Rep. Linda Sanchez gave the Republican dug out the finger right before her team got BODIED 10-0 by the GOP in the congressional baseball game,” Newsmax host Benny Johnson wrote. “What a nasty, disgusting slob. Perfect representation of the modern Left.”
“Congresswoman Linda Sanchez flipping off Republicans in a charity game to support the Boys and Girls Club of DC,” former Congressman Mark Walker of North Carolina posted. “Sad!”
Sanchez’s gesture turned out to provide the most drama in a game that included a rain delay lasting more than 30 minutes in the fourth inning.
At least three climate protesters were arrested outside the stadium after activist groups tried to block the main entrance. Left-wing demonstrators had previously vowed to disrupt the game, drawing a stern warning from US Capitol Police.
Inside Nationals Park, protesters hung a large banner from the upper deck that read, “They play ball while the world burns.”
Thursday’s victory was the second straight for the Republicans, who won a 13-12 slugfest in 2021 that included an out-of-the-park home run by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.).