Baseball fans, take a good look at some of the players in tonight’s All-Star Game. You may not see them at next year’s classic if they are Latino. A growing number of Latino players—including such perennial all-stars as
Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez—have said they would not participate in the game if it is played as scheduled next year in Phoenix.
The Latino players are calling on Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to move the 2011 game out of Phoenix as a protest against Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law, which goes into effect July 29.
The law requires police to stop and question anyone they have “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented. The law does not define “reasonable suspicion,” a fact that many opponents say is a carte blanche for racial profiling.
Writing at The Huffington Post today, Ben Walker speaks with several Latino players who say the law is unfair and they cannot play if the game remains in Phoenix. He quotes Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria, who says:
They could stop me and ask to see my papers. I have to stand with my Latin community on this.
Read all of Walker’s post here.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said in a statement that the new law could have a “negative impact” on major league baseball teams, which have hundreds of players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. At least six players on the Arizona Diamondbacks roster are not U.S. citizens, and 30 percent of all Major League players are Latino.
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.