President Barack Obama Praised David Ortiz’s Post-Marathon Speech

He said it was one of the proudest moments of his presidency.

Five days after the Marathon Bombings, the Boston Red Sox played a home game at Fenway Park. Prior to the first pitch, David Ortiz took the microphone and issued a sentence of defiance on behalf of every Bostonian: “This is our f—ing city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom,” he bellowed.

While sitting in on an interview with ESPN during Tuesday’s exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Cuban National team in Havana, Cuba, President Obama was asked why he still opted to attend the contest just hours after the terrorist attacks in Brussels. He said he followed Ortiz’s lead, calling Big Papi’s speech one of the proudest moments of his presidency.

“The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives,” Obama said. “One of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the marathon [attack] and when Ortiz went out and said—probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with cursing on live TV—when he talked about how strong Boston was and was not going to be intimidated. And that is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists.”

On April 20, 2013, Ortiz’s words reverberated throughout the city of Boston. Three years later, their impact is still important.