The Orioles' unusual week began last Saturday night when Camden Yards was locked down due to protests and unrest near the stadium. Some fans expressed frustration that they could not leave the ballpark until police deemed it safe.
In a series of 20 tweets that Saturday, John Angelos, the Orioles' executive vice president and son of owner Peter Angelos, defended protesters and those living in economic devastation, saying, "...there's a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere, who don't have jobs and are losing economic, civil and legal rights. And this makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant..."
"I was really trying to move a specific dialogue towards a wider picture, that baseball games and football games are fun things and they're entertainment, but they're not important relative to the grand scheme of things," Angelos said Friday on "CBS This Morning." "The grand scheme of things, what's important is, how are people living in all of our communities and not just some? If our system is leaving some of our friends and neighbors behind, then our system is really failing all of us."
After Freddie Gray died from unexplained spinal injuries while in police custody, protesters took to the streets to demand answers from officials. Brawls between fans and protesters that broke out Saturday near the stadium was only the beginning of what was to come in the Baltimore riots. The Maryland National Guard was deployed and a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew was enforced Tuesday.
Since the violent protests, Baltimore's top prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers involved in Gray's arrest.
Angelos believes economic issues were key in the rising tensions in the city that led to the riots.
"The difficulty that people have in certain communities in Baltimore, which I think reflects the difficulty people are having in communities around the country, is a byproduct of some failed policies on a national level that have transferred American jobs to foreign countries. And policies that have reacted to the stress in these communities by seeking people out and putting them in jail in large numbers," Angelos said.
In his tweet, he blamed the "American political elite" who have shipped middle and working class jobs out of the city and around the U.S. to "3rd world dictatorships like China." Eight percent of Baltimore residents are unemployed, and in the 21217 zip code near where the riots broke out, the unemployment rate is at 20 percent.
Angelos clarified that he wasn't targeting a specific political party in his rant.
"I think both groups have embraced policies over the past many decades that have said, 'Well, we're a democracy, but we're comfortable shipping our Baltimorian jobs, our American jobs to countries that aren't democracies, and they couldn't spell the word election in any language,'" Angelos said. "They've also been comfortable enforcing crime bills and laws that have put a lot of people in jail for what are described as lower level drug crimes. And by warehousing people that don't have jobs, and by passing that through to generations, you're getting nowhere."