A claim suggesting that U.S. President Joe Biden addressed Pope Francis as a 'famous African-American baseball player' following their meeting at the Vatican, is a hoax. A video clip of the exchange has gone viral on social media.
The Pope met Biden for a private meeting on Friday, ahead of the G-20 Summit in Rome. The meeting, which hasn't been made public yet, lasted nearly 90 minutes.
Did Biden Get Confused?
The claim originated after a short video clip surfaced on social media. The 8-second clip shows Biden and the Pope shaking hands. At the beginning of the video, Pope Francis is seen shaking hands with the First Lady of the U.S. Jill Biden and then moves on to the President. "Thank You Very much and Thank you for that," the Pope is heard saying as he shakes hands with Biden.
"You (inaudible) the famous African-American baseball player in America," Biden tells the Pope as the clip ends. Sharing the video, a twitter user wrote, "Joe Biden after 75 mins of meeting with Pope 'You're the famous African-American base ball player in America'."
The clip was widely circulated on multiple social media platforms. "Biden crapped his pants while visiting the pope. Then called him a famous African American baseball player. Stage five dementia is a bitch," tweeted a user.
"WTF? Biden asked the Pope if he was an African American baseball player!!!!!," wrote a user as another tweeted, "Let me get this straight... was Joe Biden shitting his pants before or after he shook hands with the pope calling him the best African American baseball player ??? I'm asking for a friend."
Biden Was Talking About Satchel Paige
Debunking the claim, Reuters stated that the viral post was out of context as the U.S. President was talking about Satchel Paige, a Black pitcher who joined the Major Leagues in his 40s.
Stating that the first word in Biden's sentence is not entirely audible, the extended video revealed that the U.S. President was telling the Pope the story of famous African-American baseball player.
"Usually, pitchers lose their arms when they're 35. He pitched a win on his 47th birthday. The press walked into the locker room and said â his name was Satchel Paige â they came in and said, 'Satch, no one's ever pitched a win at age 47. How do you feel about pitching a win on your birthday?' He looked at them and said, 'Boys, that's not how I look at age. I look at it this way: How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?'" Biden is heard saying in the original video.