Adrian Gonzalez is one of baseball’s best players and a two-time All-Star. But the San Diego Padres first baseman says he won’t go to the 2011 All-Star game — scheduled for Phoenix — as long as Arizona’s unjust law SB 1070 is in effect.1
Gonzalez isn’t alone. Many other major league players and coaches are saying they don’t want to play ball in a state where Latino players — who make up more than 25% of the League — and Latino fans are subject to racial profiling.2,3
These players need our support. Join us in demanding that Major League Baseball (MLB) move the All-Star Game from Arizona as long as racial profiling is legal there. Baseball officials are already feeling the pressure, and if they pull the game from Phoenix, it would send a powerful message that extremism and discrimination will cost Arizona. Will you join us in calling on MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to move the All-Star game, and ask your friends and family to do the same?
Gonzalez, a dual citizen of Mexico and the U.S., said the Arizona law — which allows police to stop anyone they “reasonably” suspect of being undocumented — is “immoral” and “goes against what this country was built on.” His comments have been echoed by other players and leaders in the game, including Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, who said the law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer on April 23 would impact the hundreds of players who are citizens of countries other than the U.S.:
“All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected, even though their presence in the United States is legal. Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status."4
The All-Star Game represents one of the highest-profile events every season in baseball — second only to the World Series. As much as $60 million will be spent in the host region during All-Star Game weekend.5 We need to let Arizona know that we won’t let them profit from discrimination and extremism.
This kind of pressure has worked on Arizona in the past, and it can again. In 1987, after Arizona’s Governor rescinded the state’s recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday, the National Football League voted to move the 1993 Super Bowl from Arizona to California. Only after Arizona’s voters re-instated the holiday was Tempe awarded the Super Bowl.6
Baseball is America’s national pastime, and just like our country as a whole, it has always been enriched by players of different backgrounds, especially Latinos. It’s time to honor that legacy by telling MLB Commissioner Bud Selig that he should move the 2011 All-Star Game unless Arizona gets the message:
Thank you and ¡Adelante!
Favianna, Laurie, Roberto and the rest of the Presente.org team
1. "Baseball All-Star Adrian Gonzalez Says He May Boycott Next Year’s All-Star Game Over AZ Law," Think Progress, 5-3-10
2. "Baseball alarmed by Arizona immigration law," Yahoo Sports, 4-30-10
3. "Hispanic Fans Critical to Major League Baseball." Hispanic Business, 7-10-08
4. MLB Players Association Responds to S.B. 1070, Imagine2050, 4-30-10
5. "Baseball’s All-Star Game set for Chase Field in 2011," AZCenteral.com, 4-10-09
6. "Not the first time Arizona faces a national boycott," Daily Kos, 4-27-10