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Sean Spicer throws first pitch at PawSox’s Pride Night, and team faces backlash

Rhode Island native Sean Spicer threw out the ceremonial pitch before Friday’s Pawtucket Red Sox game at McCoy Stadium. The team received criticism for allowing the former Trump administration official to appear on Pride Night.
Rhode Island native Sean Spicer threw out the ceremonial pitch before Friday’s Pawtucket Red Sox game at McCoy Stadium. The team received criticism for allowing the former Trump administration official to appear on Pride Night.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/File 2018)

Sean Spicer, the controversial former press secretary to President Trump, joined a wounded veteran to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Friday night’s Pawtucket Red Sox game in Rhode Island.

The Paw Sox were also celebrating “Pride Night at the Ballpark,” and Spicer’s appearance sparked some backlash on Twitter.

“The PawSox are having Sean Spicer throw out the first pitch on Pride Night. What an insult to all their queer fans,” Longreads sports columnist Britni de la Cretaz said in a tweet Friday.

The Trump administration has been heavily criticized for attempting to dismantle LGBTQ rights.

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Another Twitter user took exception to the team inviting Spicer on Pride Night.

“They paired it with a veterans thing to make it harder to criticize, too, it’s gross,” Marc Normandin said in a tweet.

A media representative for the Paw Sox could not immediately be reached for comment Friday night.

The Paw Sox, the Triple A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, played the Charlotte Knights, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The team won 4-3.

At the game, Spicer was representing the Independence Fund, a nonprofit serving wounded veterans. He is a member of the organization’s board of directors. The charity teamed up with the Paw Sox to present an all-terrain wheelchair to Marine veteran Carlos Lopes, a Rhode Islander wounded in Iraq in 2005, according to a press release on its website.

Spicer, who grew up in Rhode Island, did not mention Pride Night in his own tweets about his appearance.

“Amazing night at McCoy Stadium. Presented this tracked wheel chair to a Marine Corps veteran from Rhode Island on behalf of the @IndyFund at the @pawsox game and then joined him to throw out the first pitch,” Spicer said in a tweet Friday Evening.

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Sofia Saric can be reached at sofia.saric@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sofia_saric.