Monday, May 3, 2010

America's Pastime

Last Friday, Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner issued the statement below on SB 1070. Following the leadership of the NFL in pushing Arizona to finally honor Dr. King with a holiday, baseball leadership should consider a similar stance. The 2011 All-Star game should be moved so long as Arizona's outrageous law remains in effect. For me, judicial delay of implementation pending trial would not be enough--the legislature must recognize the outcry and weight of a collective national conscience and regain its morality. Only then can we enjoy the so-called American pastime of baseball taking place in a venue where the new pastime has become Sheriff Joe hurling spitballs at our legacy as a nation of immigrants. Here is the Players' statement:

“The recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. These international players are very much a part of our national pastime and are important members of our Association. Their contributions to our sport have been invaluable, and their exploits have been witnessed, enjoyed and applauded by millions of Americans. All of them, as well as the Clubs for whom they play, have gone to great lengths to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law.

The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team. The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October. In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. 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. This law also may affect players who are U.S. citizens but are suspected by law enforcement of being of foreign descent.

The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.

My statement reflects the institutional position of the Union. It was arrived at after consultation with our members and after consideration of their various views on this controversial subject.”

1 comment:

  1. I was sorry to see the reports that “Sandy” Alomar said that the Association should not take a position on this matter. My fellow Boricua should have learned by now that Santos Alomar, from Salinas, Puerto Rico, is just as much a target of this law as Juan Del Pueblo, from any-town, México, or María López from Mesa, Arizona.


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