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Wiz Khalifa's pretend puff at Pirates game draws ire of MLB

Rob Biertempfel
| Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 12:30 p.m.
Rapper Wiz Khalifa gestures toward the crowd at PNC Park prior to the Pittsburgh Pirates' home finale Sept. 28, 2017.
CHRISTOPHER HORNER | TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Rapper Wiz Khalifa gestures toward the crowd at PNC Park prior to the Pittsburgh Pirates' home finale Sept. 28, 2017.
Wiz Khalifa throws out the first pitch before the Pirates' game against the Orioles Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Wiz Khalifa throws out the first pitch before the Pirates' game against the Orioles Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, at PNC Park.
Wiz Khalifa strikes a pose with the Pirates' Josh Bell before a game against the Orioles Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Wiz Khalifa strikes a pose with the Pirates' Josh Bell before a game against the Orioles Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, at PNC Park.

WASHINGTON — The Pirates apologized to MLB on Thursday after local rapper Wiz Khalifa went one toke over the line.

Khalifa, who grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Allderdice, pretended to smoke marijuana on the pitcher's mound Wednesday night at PNC Park.

The stunt sparked a flurry of responses, pro and con, on social media and caught the attention of the commissioner's office.

"Marijuana is a (prohibited) substance in all of our drug programs, and it is unfortunate this situation occurred," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said via email. "The Pirates have informed us that this should not have happened."

The Pirates did not respond to a request for a comment by the Tribune-Review.

Khalifa, 30, who was born Cameron Jibril Thomaz, was invited to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game against the Baltimore Orioles. Khalifa arrived at the ballpark wearing a shirt with "Legalize it" emblazoned on the front, and he posed for photos with chairman Bob Nutting, manager Clint Hurdle and several players.

On the mound, Khalifa twice mimicked taking a toke from joint before throwing the pitch.

On Saturday, Khalifa will perform at the Thrival Music Festival at the Carrie Furnaces, Swissvale. Proceeds from the two-day event will benefit Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit group that aids entrepreneurs.

The Pirates have a checkered past when it comes to controlled substances and substance abuse.

In 1985, more than a dozen Pirates and other notable major leaguers testified before a grand jury in Pittsburgh about the use and distribution of cocaine by players at Three Rivers Stadium.

Eleven players, including Dave Parker and Dale Berra, received suspensions, which later were commuted by the commissioner in exchange for fines and community service.

In December 2011, president Frank Coonelly was charged with four DUI-related misdemeanors. Coonelly later was sentenced to a program for first-time offenders.

Hurdle and third baseman David Freese have admitted to past issues with alcohol abuse. Third baseman Jung Ho Kang missed this season because he was unable to get a U.S. work visa after his third drunk-driving conviction in South Korea.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Several fans responded on Twitter to Khalifa toke on the mound:

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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