Emotional Alex Cora blasts corruption that has led to massive protests in Puerto Rico: 'It's embarrassing'

John Tomase
"It's not easy to watch what is going on. I am disappointed, mad," the Red Sox manager and Puerto Rican native said of his homeland, where protests erupted over a scandal in which millions in hurricane relief funds were misappropriated.

BOSTON -- It's no coincidence that Red Sox manager Alex Cora wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the Puerto Rican flag to the podium on Tuesday. He aches for his homeland.

The island commonwealth found itself engulfed in scandal this weekend, with protesters marching to denounce Gov. Ricardo Rossello and demand his resignation in the wake of leaked messages that showed him deriding both political foes and allies, and giving another black eye to a bankrupt island that has spent the last 12 years in a recession and still faces criticism for its cleanup efforts after Hurricane Maria.

"It's not easy to watch what is going on," Cora said. "I am disappointed, mad. Sometimes I wonder like, 'Where are we going?' I got my kids who I am not planning on moving from there, but you see what is going on and you're like, 'What is going to happen?' At the same time, we've been through this before as a country. The only thing I can tell the people back home and the people who live in the states is to stay together."

The leaked messages came on the heels of a corruption scandal that led to indictments last week against two former Puerto Rican officials for steering more than $15 million of hurricane aid to unqualified cronies.

Anger boiled over this weekend, with thousands of protesters marching on the governor's mansion to demand Rossello's resignation before police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

"It's kind of sad that I feel more worried now than when Maria went by because when Maria went by the only one that had control over it was God," Cora said. "Now, it's tough to understand that we're in this situation when the people that put us in the situation was the people who were elected by our country. It's embarrassing, too. I am a proud Puerto Rican. We're going to be fine. It just sucks to watch and see what is going on."

UPDATE (Wednesday, July 17, 8 a.m. ET): Cora added a follow-up tweet Wednesday morning in Spanish that included the hashtag #RickyRenuncia, which is being used to call on Rossello to resign.

Here's a rough English translation of Cora's tweet: "Tired of expressing my frustration of what we are experiencing but crazy about letting everyone know that when we unite we are powerful."

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Emotional Alex Cora blasts corruption that has led to massive protests in Puerto Rico: 'It's embarrassing' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston