Fact Check

Did Pelosi Tweet Use Photo of Wrong Athlete in Tribute to Willie Mays?

The post was quickly and quietly deleted.

Published May 8, 2021

Image Via SpeakerPelosi/Twitter
On May 6, 2021, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Twitter account shared a 90th birthday tribute to baseball player Willie Mays but included a picture of Willie McCovey, another Black athlete.

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:

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.

Pelosi's account had originally tweeted the photo with McCovey back in October 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.”

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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