Joe Biden's Negro League Gaffe Sparks Intense Controversy

President Joe Biden is taking some heat for a mistake he made during his Veterans Day speech. A video appears to show Biden saying that Black baseball player Satchel Paige is "the great negro of our time." However, the full quote reveals what Biden was trying to say during his speech. 

"And I just want to tell you, I know you're a little younger than I am, but, you know, I've adopted the attitude of the great Negro — at the time, pitcher in the Negro Leagues — went on to become a great pitcher in the pros — in the Major League Baseball after Jackie Robinson," Biden said, per Forbes. "His name was Satchel Paige."  

Once Biden said that the hashtag "Racist Biden" was trending on Twitter. People on social media began bringing up old comments or statements Biden has made in the past. "Biden has never been the best orator, and he's known to make mistakes," Chris Haynes, associate professor of political science and national security at the University of New Haven, told Forbes. "It isn't that different from some of George W. Bush's verbal gaffes."

Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, told Newsweek what Biden said didn't bother him. "It's an honor, as we look at it, that the president has such an affinity for Satchel," Kendrick said. "We take absolutely no offense to what the president said. As a matter of fact, we applaud the president for continuing to be an advocate for this history."

Kendrick went on to say that for Biden "to relate the stories of the Negro Leagues means a lot to us. I knew exactly the context in which he was speaking. So, naturally, we don't take any offense to that. He was making a statement to relate this story about this timeless Black baseball hero who did play in the Negro Leagues. That's what the leagues were called. That is the name of our museum."


Paige started his career in the Negro Leagues in 1926. He would continue to play in the league before making his major league debut in 1948 at the age of 42 years old, making him the oldest debutant in major league history. He played his final major game at the age of 59 years old and finished his career as a World Series Champion, a Negro World Series Champion, a six-time Negro League All-Star and two-time MLB All-Star.