An ice hockey player in New York City told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reported move to end former President Trump’s rink contracts is “really upsetting.”
Amya Hernandez, a 12-year-old ice hockey player with the nonprofit organization Ice Hockey in Harlem, said having the season end early is “really sad.”
“Ice Hockey in Harlem has given me lots of opportunities,” she continued, adding that she doesn’t understand “why they would choose to close the rink early.”
This week, ice skating rinks in New York City’s Central Park, which are both managed by the Trump Organization, are being shuttered by City Hall to punish the former president for the Capitol riot that took place on Jan. 6, The New York Post reported.
The effected rinks reportedly include the iconic Wollman Rink and the smaller Lasker Rink at the park’s northern end.
The rink contracts had been set to expire in April, but de Blasio decided to end the contracts on Feb. 26, The New York Post reported.
Malik Garvin, the Ice Hockey in Harlem director, said the organization “serves over 300 kids in the Harlem community” free of charge and has “been around for over 30 years.”
“We offer them things that other kids in the neighborhood don’t get so they can better themselves and improve their lives,” Garvin said.
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“I had to tell 300 kids and their parents, ‘That’s it, we’re done,’” he added.
“And this is something that we take pride in. We have boys and girls ages 5 to 18. They start when they’re young. They stick with it. We’re dedicated. It’s something that they all look forward to and especially now, it is the one thing that they have.”
“Right now it’s the one thing that they have and it is being taken away from them overnight,” he stressed.
A spokesperson for de Blasio did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, the Post reported that on Jan. 31, when announcing the concession terminations for Wollman Rink, Lasker Rink, the Central Park Carousel and Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, a de Blasio spokesman said, “Trump has been impeached from operating the ice rink.”
The New York Post reported, citing the New York City Parks Department, that the department had delivered a termination notice to the Trump Organization on Jan. 15 with an effective date of Feb. 26 for both rinks.
“We are working diligently through our competitive … process to secure new operators for these great amenities so it does not impact the respective seasons,” New York City Parks Department spokesperson Crystal Howard said in a statement.
Hernandez’s mother Zoraida Martinez said the early closure is “really devastating.”
Three of her children have participated in the ice hockey program.
“My kids have been in this program for six years and we’re just one of hundreds of families that really enjoy this program and stuck with it,” she said. “This is like Christmas for our kids.”
“This is the one thing that they look forward to every year and to have it snatched away from us without any explanation is, it’s really crazy,” she continued.
Garvin said the explanation he was given was that the ice rinks were closing “in retaliation for the storming of the Capitol, which our kids, our families had nothing to do with.”
“We have to do something about it,” he added. “We have to open the rink and keep it going. We rely on this.”
“We’ve been playing hockey in Harlem for over 30 years,” Garvin continued. “We’re building better people, better everything. The community needs this to stay open.”
Speaking on “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturday night, former Trump campaign senior adviser Lara Trump called de Blasio’s reported move to close the rinks “disgusting” and “disgraceful.”
“Bill de Blasio has such a vendetta against a man that doesn’t even live in his city anymore, lives down in Florida now, that he is willing to take away these people’s jobs, people who have season passes are losing money on this, it’s absolutely disgraceful,” Trump said.
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“It is the worst kind of Trump derangement syndrome I have ever heard of,” she continued.
“It’s so terrible for the city of New York and this guy has a lot bigger problems on his hands, he might want to focus on getting that city back open because people are leaving as fast as they can. It is honestly so sad to see.”