On May 6, 2021, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Twitter account appeared to mix up photographs of two famous Black athletes.
The account posted a 90th birthday tribute to legendary baseball player Willie Mays, but alongside a picture of Pelosi posing with a different baseball player: Willie McCovey. McCovey was a baseball Hall of Famer who died in 2018. The offending tweet was quickly deleted and replaced with a photo of Pelosi with Willie Mays:
Happy 90th Birthday to an all-American icon, Willie Mays. A trailblazing, record-breaking baseball player, civil rights leader, and champion for youth sports and well-being, Willie Mays is a civic legend and national treasure. #SayHey90https://t.co/KLinpgJ0yL pic.twitter.com/hlpnU4nYpH
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 7, 2021
The deleted tweet was archived here, however. A screenshot of the tweet is visible below:
Pelosi was called out for the faux pas by many on social media, including Sean Spicer, who once served as former U.S. President Donald Trump’s press secretary.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) May 8, 2021
The @SpeakerPelosi tweet that wrongly showed a photo of Willie McCovey when they were wishing Willie Mays a happy 90th birthday. I saved it. I know that is petty of me, but that was a lame mistake. @blowfish8888 @bijancbayne pic.twitter.com/eUQj5e1iFC
— Dr. Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) May 6, 2021
Pelosi’s account had originally tweeted the photo with McCovey back in October 2018:
Thank you, Willie, for all you did for baseball & our Bay Area community. Paul & I are praying for Estela & your entire family. You will be missed by the legions of players, fans & admirers you inspired on & off the field. #Forever44 pic.twitter.com/al3RD3F9tY
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 1, 2018
Given that an authentic tweet from Pelosi’s account showing the wrong baseball player was saved on archive.org, we rate this claim as “True.”