Video of Joe Biden's 'Great Negro' Remarks About Satchel Paige Viewed Over 4.5M Times

Videos circulating on social media of President Joe Biden calling Satchel Paige "the great negro" during a Veterans Day speech Thursday have been viewed more than 4.5 million times.

Biden during a speech at Arlington National Cemetery this week said he had "adopted the attitude of the great Negro—at the time—pitcher in the Negro leagues, who went on to become a great pitcher in the pros—in Major League Baseball—after Jackie Robinson."

"His name was Satchel Paige," the president recalled.

Baseball legend Paige, who passed away in June 1982, kicked off his professional career in the "Negro Leagues" in the 1920s before joining Major League Baseball later on in his professional career in the 1940s.

"Satchel Paige on his 47th birthday pitched a win against Chicago," Biden continued. "And all the press went in and said, 'Satch is amazing. Forty-seven years old. No one's ever, ever pitched a win at age 47. How do you feel about being 47?' He said, 'Boys, that's not how I look at it.' And they said, 'How do you look at it, Satch? And he said, 'I look at it this way: How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?'"

"I'm 50 years old, and the ambassador's 47," Biden added.

He was at the time of his remarks honoring former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken, father of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and an Army veteran.

The president's comments quickly sparked division on social media, with many debating about whether he had misspoken.

A separate recording of the president's remarks has been viewed 3.1 million times on Twitter at the time of writing.

Eric Trump, son of former President Donald Trump, quickly questioned Biden's comments, writing on Twitter, "Did Biden just say what I think he said?!"

"Joe Biden referring to Satchel Paige as 'the great Negro at the time' sounds just as terrible as you'd think it would," For America, a conservative site with nearly 150,000 Twitter followers, wrote.

Others meanwhile defended the president's comments, with one social media user responding to Trump's tweet saying that "there is nothing wrong" with using the term "in its correct context."

The term was commonly used during the 1930s and 1940s, when Paige was at the height of his career.

Newsweek contacted the White House and the Satchel Paige Foundation for comment.

Joe Biden giving a Veterans Day speech
US President Joe Biden speaks during an event to commemorate Veterans Day in the Memorial Amphitheater, at Arlington National Cemetary in Arlington, Virginia on November 11, 2021. Videos of the president calling Satchel Paige "the great negro” during a Veterans Day speech have been viewed more than 4.5 million times. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images