The Yankees are boycotting New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade due to plans to honor freed militant Oscar Lopez Rivera.© Charles Rex Arbogast, AP The Yankees are boycotting New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade due to plans to honor freed militant Oscar Lopez Rivera.The New York Yankees joined the Fire Department of New York City and other high-profile organizations in dropping out of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in response to parade organizers’ plans to honor freed militant Oscar Lopez Rivera.

The Yankees organization didn’t elaborate on its decision, but a spokesperson said in a statement that the team still plans to financially support the parade’s scholarship program:

“The New York Yankees are not participating in this year’s Puerto Rican Day parade. However, for many years, the Yankees have supported a scholarship program that recognizes students selected by the parade organizers. To best protect the interests of those students, and avoid any undue harm to them, the Yankees will continue to provide financial support for the scholarships, and will give to the students directly.”

The June 11 parade, which draws 1 million people each year, also lost key sponsors because of the decision to honor a man considered to be the leader of the ultranationalist Puerto Rican group responsible for more than 100 bombings. Rivera, who was sentenced to 55 years in prison in 1981 after he was found guilty of seditious conspiracy, served 35 years until his sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama.

Among the other organizations skipping the parade are the NYPD’s Hispanic Society and Rafael Ramos foundation.

“We understand that others may not be able to be with us,” a statement by the board of directors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade said in reference to naming Rivera a national freedom hero. “However, we will continue to represent all voices, with an aim to spark dialogue and find common ground, so that we can help advance our community and build cultural legacy.”