Did Joe Biden call Satchel Paige the n-word? The TRUTH behind the rumors

Internet alleges that Biden used the term 'great negro' in his speech to refer to the pitcher, but pause makes it unclear what he wanted to say

                            Did Joe Biden call Satchel Paige the n-word? The TRUTH behind the rumors
President Joe Biden speaks at Arlington National Cemetary (Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images) with an insert of Satchel Paige (Acme Newspictures/Wikimedia Commons)

President Joe Biden delivered his Veterans Day speech from Arlington National Cemetary, in Virginia on November 11. As expected the speech contained references to his son Beau, the Afghan war and his political agenda. But, that wasn't what made the news. Instead, it was a blink-and-miss moment where Biden referred to Major League Baseball pitcher Satchel Paige. Almost instantly, the Internet was flooded with claims that Biden used the n-word to refer to Paige.

It isn't the first time Biden's gaffes have landed him in trouble. In April, the Internet exploded after Biden said "I'm in trouble", for losing his mask after speaking in Georgia. Then in March, he accidentally referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as President. The very public gaffes have led many to question Biden's cognitive abilities, while in many cases it has become a flashpoint for conservatives hoping to attack the President.


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Almost instantly, Twitter was flooded with claims Biden used the n-word to refer to Paige. It's true the President did use the n-word, but the context was slightly different from the claims. Here's the truth behind the latest Biden gaffe and conspiracy.

US President Joe Biden speaks in the Memorial Amphitheater, in Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day, on November 11, 2021, in Arlington, Virginia. (Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images)


Did Biden use the n-word?

Long story short, yes he did. But, it wasn't to refer to Paige, but the Negro League Baseball, a baseball tournament that Black players formed when they were shut out of Major League Baseball. Historically, the "Negro Leagues" is used to describe several baseball leagues that minority players started back in the 1880s. In 1931, Paige made his debut in the East-West League, for the Pittsburgh Crawfords. The rest, as they say, is history. 

According to the White House transcript, Biden said, " 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. His name was Satchel Paige." Mediate reported he was about to say great Negro League pitcher, but corrected himself to use the phrasing "at the time", but it's unclear if that's the case. The sudden pause and shift are what appear to have got people talking because it seems like Biden is calling Paige a "great negro", but we cannot be sure at all. 

Biden made the reference to while wishing Ambassador Donald Blinken a happy birthday. Reportedly, the Paige story is one of his favorites, a "roundabout way of saying that you’re only as old as you feel." Here's the video of the moment as well, which lines up with the official transcript-



It's unclear what Biden was attempting to say, which is why the slight slip-up led to a massive uproar on social media. From Benny Johnson to Brigitte Gabriel and other conservatives likes Breitbart correspondent Charlie Spiering all tweeted that he did. Here's just a handful of the allegations making their way around social media at the moment. 

'Anyone at CNN or MSNBC offended?'

"Biden calls Satchel Paige 'the great negro’ in speech. Anyone at CNN or MSNBC offended?" one person tweeted. Another said, "On Veterans Day Joe Biden tells a story about pitcher Satchel Paige, refers him as "the great negro at the time." Imagine if Trump did this? Where is the media?" One said, " Poopy pants Biden called Satchel Paige a "Great Negro!" Racist f--k!!!"





"@JoeBiden called Satchel Paige a "negro" today during a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. Wtf? I wonder how the media is gonna spin this one..." one user said. Another commented, "JOE BIDEN calls Satchel Paige a "great negro" OMG!!! Biden is turning out to be a disaster for the Democrats. Why didn't he just say "A great person Satchel Paige" Definitely racial overtones!"




If you want to learn more about the leagues, you can visit the Negro League Baseball Museum website, or the actual museum if you live near Kansas City. Paige was one of the many players from the Negro Leagues to play in the major league, making his debut for the Cleveland Indians in 1948, at the age of 42. His career spanned five decades and he was also inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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