Double Play: Sports and Politics in Today’s Embattled Nicaragua

Edgar Tijerino Photo: Carlos Herrera / Confidencial


The highly popular program of sportswriter, Edgar Tijerino, leaves radio La Primerisima after 19 years of broadcasting but has new homes.


By Keyling T. Romero &  Patricia Martinez (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Beginning October first, the sports program Double Play will be transmitted on 720 AM of Radio Catolica of Nicaragua, 102.3FM of Radio Universidad and by the Catholic TV Channel of Nicaragua (Channel 51), after having been broadcast for 19 years by radio La Primerisima.

“The program is going to be the same, we will try to go more in-depth and retake some things that we had left behind. The jokes are going to be there and the political viewpoint will remain as long as this struggle continues. That I can assure,” stated Edgar Tijerino, the founder of the Double Play program, during a televised interview on the “Esta Noche”(Tonight) show.

Double Play was born 38 years ago of which 19 years have been broadcast on radio La Primerisima and, according to its founder, leaving this radio was not due to political problems but to economic problems that increased with the socio-political crisis that exists in Nicaragua since April of this year.

The Double Play program was created by sportswriter Edgar Tijerino 38 years ago.

“The fact that they did not say anything to me, for which I am grateful, does not mean that I did not perceive that I could become a nuisance and that situation also had some influence,” he said.

At some point, he confesses, he considered cancelling the program permanently and also considered doing it only through social networks through live broadcasts. However, Monsignor Rolando Alvarez met with him and offered to move his program to the Catholic TV Channel of Nicaragua and radio station. Similarly, Father Jose Alberto Idiaquez, Rector of the Central American University, offered him to broadcast the program on Radio Universidad.

In this new frequency, the schedule will be from Monday to Saturday, from six to seven o’clock in the morning, at Radio Universidad and Radio Catolica. On both radio stations and on Channel 51, it will be broadcast from one to two o’clock in the afternoon, from Monday to Friday. This renowned sportswriter and commentator hopes that his followers will continue listening.

Sports in times of crisis

In August of this year, sportswriter Miguel Mendoza was declared “persona non grata” at the Dennis Martinez National Stadium. Carlos Herrera

For his part, sports writer Miguel Mendoza said that in these months that the country has been involved in a socio-political crisis, it has been difficult to address sports issues.

“I am embarrassed to talk about Leo Messi, Cristiano or Real Madrid because sometimes the people believe that we are not consistent,” regretted Mendoza, who also conducts the Double Play program. Similarly, he said that people should understand that he is only doing his job, but he doesn’t forget the situation the country is going through.

At the beginning of August, Mendoza was declared “persona non grata” at the Dennis Martinez National Stadium because, since the protests began against Daniel Ortega’s regime, he has denounced the human rights violations committed by the government.

Athletes are apathetic during Nicaragua’s crisis

The sportswriter stated that he does not criticize baseball players who have not spoken out about the crisis because they are public employees. “They are like the people [public employees] who are right now at traffic circles, many of them hide or conceal themselves when they see a camera,” expressed Mendoza.

“Some of the most important baseball players have opinions similar to ours, only that they do not dare to say anything,” said Mendoza.

Similarly, he confirmed that some athletes who have raised their voice in favor of the peaceful protests have done so because they are outside the country. For example, he mentioned the names of some soccer players from the national team: Jaime Moreno, Daniel Cadena, and Juan Barrera.