- Bud Selig
Tell MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to Show Leadership on Civil Rights
This weekend in Atlanta, Major League Baseball (MLB) will host its 2011 Civil Rights Game and celebrate its role in the civil rights movement. MLB does indeed have a rich history of demonstrating leadership in civil rights issues—the league integrated by drafting Jackie Robinson in 1947, years before several branches of the U.S. military allowed African-American service members.
But our country’s civil rights struggles did not end in the 1960s or 70s, and MLB’s current Commissioner, Bud Selig, remains silent regarding pressing civil rights issues that also deserve leadership from the League. Specifically, Selig has refused to move the 2011 All-Star Game from Arizona or even comment on the implications that the state’s “Papers Please” law, SB 1070, would have for many MLB players. And now, the Civil Rights Game will be played in the very state that passed the newest discriminatory law, HB 87, Georgia’s copycat version of SB 1070.
Doesn’t it seem strange to Commissioner Selig that the MLB will celebrate civil rights in a state that just passed a law violating the rights of many?
Why won’t MLB Commissioner Bud Selig show the same kind of leadership on civil rights issues that baseball has in the past? Arizona’s SB 1070 has united minority groups who all see what is wrong with the law. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., an African American fraternity, moved its convention from Arizona to Nevada in protest of SB 1070. The fraternity said it did not want to “put the civil rights and the very dignity of [their] members at risk during their stay in Phoenix.” That is true leadership. But what about baseball? What happened to the civil rights legacy of America’s favorite pastime?
Sign the petition to send a message to Bud Selig that it's time for Major League Baseball to break the silence on civil rights, even as they promote their civil rights game. Tell Selig to speak up for the civil rights of all players and fans!
Thanks for encouraging baseball to continue its tradition of standing up for civil rights!
- Bud Selig
I write to ask you to break your silence on today’s most pressing civil rights issues.
As you are aware, last spring the Arizona legislature passed SB 1070, a bill that essentially sanctions racial profiling in that state. And now, this weekend’s Civil Rights Game will be played in the very state that passed the newest discriminatory law, HB 87, Georgia’s copycat version of SB 1070. Despite the fact that many civil rights, labor, faith, and social justice organizations around the country, including the National Council of La Raza, the NAACP, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and others have requested a meeting with you and called on you to comment on this issue, you have remained silent.
Baseball is a game that transcends barriers and brings America together, and MLB does indeed have a rich history of demonstrating leadership in civil rights issues. But our country’s civil rights struggles did not end in the 1960s or 70s, and these discriminatory laws are another issue that deserves leadership from the League. It is in the best interest of baseball to maintain a welcome playing environment for its players and to support the millions of fans who are Latino, Asian, African American, or of other minority groups.
Arizona’s SB 1070 has united minority groups who all see what is wrong with the law. Did you know that Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. moved its convention from Arizona to Nevada in protest of SB 1070? The fraternity said that they did not want to “put the civil rights and the very dignity of our members at risk during their stay in Phoenix.” That’s true leadership. But what about baseball? What happened to the civil rights legacy of America’s favorite pastime?
Now, more than ever, it is important for you, as the Commissioner of the League, to send a message saying that baseball will not endorse intolerance and that MLB wants to provide a welcoming environment for its players and fans. MLB’s Latino player and fan base continues to grow each year, and we ask you not to turn your back on us as this issue unfolds.
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