Updated 09:21 AM EST, Tue, Nov 24, 2020

Dodgers’ Photo Op with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto Overshadows Productive Winter Meetings: Social Media Reactions

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Just when Los Angeles Dodgers fans should be feeling good about themselves, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez gave them reason to criticize the ballclub.

Gonzalez presented Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto with a customized Dodgers jersey Monday, drawing ire from the team's Mexican fan base. Peña Nieto is under heavy scrutiny over his government's handling of the case of 43 missing college students from Ayotzinapa, a small town linked to police corruption.

One student's burned remains were positively identified last weekend, confirming suspicions that local drug gangs rounded up the students during a conflict with police. The Dodgers received plenty of backlash on social media where many voiced their disgust and disappointment over their support of the unpopular president. Others compared it to supporting Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo, the police officers whose non- indictment in the shooting of unarmed black men led to nationwide protests.

Many hoped Gonzalez would use the platform to call attention to the case, much like the NBA's LeBron James and Derrick Rose and the NFL's St. Louis Rams have with the Eric Garner verdict.

The photo quickly garnered over 4,000 comments on Instagram with many posting #takeitdown and #yamecanse2, the latter a staple in protesting Mexico's corrupt government. One altered picture showed a jersey with the number 43 photoshopped in to represent the missing students.

Since his breakout season with the San Diego Padres in 2006, Gonzales has been the face of the Mexican-American baseball community. He represented Mexico in multiple World Baseball Classics, despite being born in the United States, and was awarded the country's 2014 Premio Nacional de Deportes, which is why he was meeting with Peña.

Gonzalez refused to comment on the controversy and the Dodgers' front office hasn't commented. The photo began circulating as MLB's Winter Meeting got underway in San Diego where the Dodgers avoided some of the criticism with major trades.

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