Friday, December 4, 2020

Civil Rights Leaders Call for All-Star Game Move

On the eve of the Major League Baseball’s  All-Star Game, Janet Murguia, president and chief executive of the national Council of La Raza, and Wade Henderson, president and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, make an argument for moving next year’s game out of Arizona in an op-ed in today’s Washington Post.

Since Governor Jan Brewer signed the controversial anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, earlier this year, groups and individuals from immigration rights advocates to the President of the United States have decried her actions.  Citing concerns that the law will lead to racial profiling, activists have sought various measures for putting pressure on the state and its elected officials to stop enactment of the law.  Some have even called for a boycott of tourism to Arizona as well as a halt to doing business with any company headquartered there.

The annual MLB All-Star game is a mid-season exhibition game that pits the best players of the American League and the National League against each other.  The venues for the game change yearly, like football’s Super Bowl, bringing revenue to the host city.  This year’s game will be played tomorrow, July 13, in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.  However, the focus is more on next year’s game which is scheduled for Phoenix at the home stadium of the Diamondbacks.

Murguia and Henderson cite the statistic that one-third of all MLB players are Latino or African-American.  They express their frustration at Commissioner Bud Selig’s lack of response to numerous calls to move the game, saying, “We are not asking Selig to weigh in on immigration policy; we are asking him to take a stand against bigotry.”

In May of this year, La Plaza reported on Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) letter to Major League Baseball asking them to boycott the state of Arizona and move the 2011 game.  Proponents of moving the game cite NFL’s decision to move the Super Bowl from Arizona in 1993 because the state would not recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday.

Baseball teams traveling to Arizona have been reported to have been taking precautions with their Latino players should they be stopped while law enforcement while there.

To read the full text of Janet Murguia and Wade Henderson’s op-ed, click here:

Washington Post