By Sandra Rose  | 

AFP via Getty Images

A comment made by Pres. Joe Biden during a Veterans Day speech on Thursday sparked debates on social media.

Biden, 78, referred to baseball legend Satchel Paige as "the great negro" because he pitched in the Negro Leagues before breaking the race barrier in Major League Baseball.

Negro in Portuguese and Spanish means "black" and is derived from the offensive racial slur ni**er.

During his speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, Biden said he had "adopted the attitude of the great Negro—at the time—pitcher in the Negro leagues, went on to become a great pitcher in the pros in Major League Baseball after Jackie Robinson, his name was Satchel Paige. And Satchel Paige on his 47th birthday pitched a win against Chicago."

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Paige was not a military veteran. His Selective Service records show he was never drafted into the U.S. military.

Twitter users debated Biden's true meaning when he muttered the word.

Democrats defended their President by advising that he was referring to the Negro Leagues. While others argued that Biden called Paige "a great Negro" in the Negro leagues.


 
One Twitter user wrote: "A white man referring to the negro baseball league would be tore to pieces .. But Biden can get away with being a Supremist."
 
Another Twitter user wrote: "Biden's one hit wonders now include: Calling black children "roaches" And calling famous baseball players “great negros."

And a third person tweeted: "Biden is calling people of color negros cringe."