O's VP John Angelos: 'ball game irrelevant' when compared to poor's plight

After protests, O's vice president John Angelos tweets government has caused “needless suffering.”

After the Freddie Gray protests turned violent outside Camden Yards and throughout downtown while the Orioles played the Boston Red Sox inside the ballpark, the club's second-highest ranking executive took to Twitter late Saturday night to express frustration that the event's most relevant talking points had been lost.

John Angelos, the Orioles' executive vice president and son of managing partner Peter G. Angelos, sent a series of tweets in which he advocated for nonviolence and due process and railed on the "needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans."

Less than an hour before the game, Gate H — a major entry point to Camden Yards — was closed as protesters gathered along West Camden Street as they marched from West Baltimore to City Hall. Lines of Baltimore police officers lined up in front of Babe Ruth Plaza. Later in the night, as the Orioles went into extra innings, fans were not permitted to leave Camden Yards for about 30 minutes because of an "ongoing public safety issue."

Shortly after Orioles outfielder David Lough won the game on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th, Angelos sent out the series of tweets, which connected into a 319-word statement.

He said a greater concern of his was "the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US to 3rd-world dictatorships like China" which he said has sent "tens of millions of good hard working Americans into economic devastation" and "an ever-declining standard of living and suffering."

Angelos, who has been on Twitter for roughly a year and sent just 171 tweets before Saturday, then tweeted that the game going on inside Camden Yards paled in comparison to the struggles faced by poor Americans in Baltimore and throughout the country.

"The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance and other abuses of the bill of rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kid's game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards," Angelos tweeted. "We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the US and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic, civil and legal rights and this … makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans."

His statements received mostly positive responses, even drawing thanks from former NFL running back Thurman Thomas on Twitter.

When reached by The Baltimore Sun on Sunday evening, Angelos declined to comment on his tweets.

On Twitter, Angelos also addressed the temporary lockdown of Camden Yards that night, tweeting that it was not the club's decision to close the ballpark gates to fans wishing to exit, but that the Orioles were following instructions passed down from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake's office and Baltimore police.

"Any questions and concerns of anyone in the public regarding the basis for issuing those orders to close and then shortly to re-open the park should, we believe, be directed to the City Officials who issued those orders to deploy City resources for that purpose," Angelos tweeted. "We will continue to monitor the matter to insure that Orioles fans are always treated in the most appropriate, safe, and lawful manner by all parties when visiting the Ballpark as guests."

eencina@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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