Why Did President Obama Attend A Baseball Game After Brussels Attacks?

Why would the U.S. president indulge in sports after two terrorist attacks hit Belgium, killing nearly 50 people? Obama explains why.

Just a couple of hours after terror hit Belgium at the Brussels airport and Maalbeek metro station, leaving more than 30 people dead, thousands of miles away, President Barack Obama attended a Major League Baseball exhibition game in Cuba.

Dressed in a white long-sleeve shirt and sunglasses, the U.S. president prepared for the face-off between Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team in Havana. Predictably and understandably, his decision to indulge in sports as Brussels burned prompted quite a lot of criticism.

However, Obama addressed the concerns in an interview during the game.

"The whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people's ordinary lives," he told ESPN. "It's always a challenge when you have a terrorist attack anywhere in the world. The notion that any political agenda justifies the killing of innocent people like this is something that is beyond the pale. We’re going to continue with over 60 nations pounding ISIL. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those whose live have been lost and hope for a speedy recovery to those who have been injured."

See More: How Did A Tiny Belgian District Become Europe’s Terrorism Hotbed?

Obama then cited one of the "proudest moments as president" as an example when Red Sox David Ortiz delivered a defiant speech in the first game following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

"That’s the resilience and strength we need to show in the face of the terrorists," he said. "They cannot defeat America. They don’t produce anything. They do not have a message that appeals to a majority of Muslims and people around the world. What they can do is strike fear and disrupt our daily lives and divide us."

Read More: Brussels vs. Turkey: What The Media Is Ignoring