I'm sure you've heard all about Arizona's new anti-immigrant law, SB 1070. About how it essentially sanctions racial profiling as accepted police practice to address immigration issues. About how it will make Latinos suspect in their own communities, regardless of their immigration status. About how it goes against our nation's most deeply held principles of justice and equality. And about how it will open the door to discrimination for many of our favorite celebrities and athletes who find themselves in Arizona.
As you may also know, the 2011 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game is currently scheduled to take place in Arizona. What you may not know is that more than one in four MLB players are Latino, which means that SB 1070 puts hundreds of players, not to mention their families and fans, at risk. We must ask MLB to stand up for the Latino players and fans that support baseball and pull the 2011 All-Star Game from Arizona!
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I am writing to ask you to move the 2011 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game from Phoenix, Arizona.
As you are aware, the Arizona legislature recently passed SB 1070, a bill that essentially sanctions racial profiling in that state. In fact, many of your players, once off the field and out of uniform, could easily fall victim to this new law while in Arizona. I hope that you recognize the law for what it is—a violation of our civil rights and of our most fundamental values as Americans.
What does this law have to do with baseball? Baseball is a game that transcends barriers and brings America together, reminding us of what makes our country and this game unique: our diversity. 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, or of other ethnic minorities.
While baseball has often led the way in breaking down racial and ethnic barriers, other sports associations have set a precedent for action when discrimination and injustice intersect with sport: the National Football League moved the 1993 Super Bowl from Arizona because the state refused to recognize the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the NCAA does not hold its Final Four event in any state that flies the Confederate flag.
Major League Baseball’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. If the 2011 All-Star Game is played in Arizona, my family and I will boycott the event. I am joining 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 in calling on you to move the game. Don’t turn your back on your players and fans. Move the game out of Arizona. It’s the right thing to do.