Bud Selig has a lot of critics. And one of the loudest right now is Fernando Mateo, a prominent figure in New York City’s livery cab industry who doubles as the president of a group called Hispanics Across America. Mateo has protested Alex Rodriguez’s suspension outside MLB’s offices in Manhattan, and this week he appeared on popular New York sports station WFAN and bought a New York Times ad to criticize the league.
“A-Rod deserves to be punished, but he does not deserve to be crucified,” Mateo said on WFAN. “That’s all we’re saying.”
He accused the league and commissioner Bud Selig of being “socially irresponsible” with its recruitment in Latin American countries.
“They go to third-world countries that have no freakin’ electricity, no power, extreme poverty and they do whatever the hell they want,” Mateo said, his voice rising. “We’re trying to change that culture. And you know what? The guy that should have been fired all along is Bud Selig, because he’s the guy that allowed the Steroid Era to be what it is today.”
Mateo also took out the ad above in the New York Times on Friday attacking Selig and defending A-Rod.
A security guard filed a harassment complaint against Mateo two weeks ago after an altercation outside MLB’s New York offices, the New York Daily News reports. Mateo claims the security guard threw a cup of coffee on his chest.
Mateo did not immediately respond to a BuzzFeed request for comment.
His latest effort to help the Yankees third baseman is a website, supportarod13.com.
A dozen other players accepted 50-game suspensions for their ties to Biogenesis, the shuttered anti-aging clinic accused of distributing PEDs.
Rodriguez’s appeal hearing resumed this week and a final decision on whether his suspension will be upheld isn’t expected until much deeper into the offseason.