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Anaheim All-Star Game Draws Protests, Major League Players Criticize Arizona Law

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 07/13/2010 at 11:05am

Today is the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Anaheim, yet Arizona’s new immigration law is sending tremors through America’s favorite past-time.

Two months after a coalition of major organizations, bloggers, and  civil rights groups sent a formal letter to MLB commissioner Bud Selig, telling him it’s time to move the game out of Phoenix to protect the sport’s Latino players and fans who would be targeted under the Draconian new law, baseball fans from coast to coast have joined together in protest.

Bloggers like John Amato of Crooks and Liars and Maegan Ortiz of Vivir Latino have chronicled the mounting pressure to move. Sarah Spooner from Reform Immigration FOR America writes:

Players from both leagues will come together in Anaheim for an exhibition of sportsmanship and skill. But activists from CHIRLA and other organizations will also be in Anaheim, to show the world that baseball fans don’t want to see the sport tarnished. Next year’s game is planned to take place in Phoenix, AZ. Today an op-ed in the Washington Post laid out the case for why the 2011 game doesn’t belong in Arizona:

Major League Baseball is scheduled to play its 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix, where discrimination and racial profiling will effectively be sanctioned by SB1070, Arizona’s controversial new immigration law. Unless the league acts, next year our favorite all-stars could enter a hostile environment, and the families, friends and fans of a third of the players could be treated as second-class citizens because of their skin color or the way they speak….

What is happening in Arizona is a regression from the freedoms we hold dear and a violation of our civil rights and fundamental values. We are not asking Selig to weigh in on immigration policy; we are asking him to take a stand against bigotry and intolerance.

So what exactly has Selig said on the record? ESPN has the story:

Just what Selig might do is unclear. The only time he has addressed the issue of whether he should move the game was May 13, after he emerged from an owners’ meeting about various topics. He referenced his sport’s record on civil rights.

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