March 22 is a day that will long be remembered on a global scale for two major events: a terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium, and President Barack Obama attending an exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team in Cuba.
During a 10-minute interview with ESPN, Obama covered several topics but began by condemning the bombings that killed at least 34 people, according to The Associated Press.
“I had a chance to talk to the Belgium prime minister early this morning right after the explosions had happened, and this is just one more example of why the entire world has to unite against these terrorists,” Obama told ESPN’s Karl Ravech. “The notion that any political agenda would justify the killing of innocent people like this is something that’s beyond the pale. We are gonna continue with the over 60 nations that are pounding ISIL and are going to go after them. In the meantime, obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been lost, and (we’re) hoping for a speedy recovery for those who’ve been injured.”
Obama discussed a range of other topics, including why he felt the trip to Cuba was necessary and important despite some blowback over the communist regime that still runs the country. He also explained that he decided to go to the game in the wake of the ISIS attack because “the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives.”
As such, he cited Boston’s response to the Boston Marathon bombing — particularly David Ortiz’s infamous speech at Fenway Park — as the model response to a terrorist attack.
“That is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists,” Obama said. “They cannot defeat America. They don’t produce anything. They don’t have a message that appeals to the vast majority of Muslims or the vast majority of people around the world. But what they can do is scare and make people afraid and disrupt our daily lives and divide us. As long as we don’t allow that to happen, we’re going to be OK.”
Thumbnail screenshot via ESPN