San Antonio TV station Fox 29 (KABB-TV) reports that “those criticizing the decision point to the singer’s criminal history, including convictions for drunk driving.”
Criticism of the first ever offical celebrity Fiesta medal began via social media. Margaret wrote on the Fox 29 Facebook page: “Why would they honor a person for … driving while drunk and almost killing himself and his band members?”
“I think that you know as artists goes, I don’t think there’s anybody who doesn’t have faults,” Amy Shaw, executive director of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission told Fox 29. “He had a long history of philanthropy, and this seemed like kind of a nice way to continue that in a small way.”
Sales of Fiesta medals support the Commission, which in part supports more than 100 non-profit organizations during Fiesta.
“I think overall, most of San Antonio knows who my brother was and how big of a heart he had,” Raulito Navaira, Emilio’s brother, told Fox 29. “To pin it on your chest, he’s always going to be here, he’s always going to be San Antonio.”
The medal will be unveiled during a ceremony at the Commission’s location in San Antonio on March 11, with a limited edition of 6,000 medals going on sale at the official Fiesta store the same day.
WATCH: Celebrity Fiesta medal for Emilio Navaira receives criticism