In a bit of black-brown coalition building, NCLR’s President Janet Murguia, along with the President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Wade Henderson, penned an opinion piece in the Washington Post urging MLB to move the 2011 All-Star Game. Within the Latino blogosphere, many of us have been urging MLB to move the game from Arizona since over a quarter of the league’s ball players are Latino, and in this piece Murguia and Henderson state that roughly a third of the players who will be in Anaheim, California for this year’s All-Star Game will be Latino and black.
Fenton communications, teaming up with Presente.org, has already been operating a site called, MoveTheGame, urging the public to get involved in the effort to relocate next year’s All-Star game out of Arizona.
Since the Arizona law pretty much sanctions racial profiling in the name of immigration enforcement, one could imagine that an event with MLB, whose league is comprised of not only a diverse group of players but immigrants as well, that there could be hostility towards players, players’ families, and fans. The Major League Baseball Players Association has already issued a statement in opposition to the Arizona law back in April.
My feeling is that it is unconscionable to put MLB players, their families and fans at risk of being stopped by the local law enforcement authorities in this state because they may appear ‘foreign’. Furthermore, Major League Baseball shouldn’t award a state that stokes the flames of hatred and fear with an event like the All-Star game that brings in millions of dollars.
The meat of Murguia and Henderson’s piece is at the end, which I will include for readers here:
Surely the “best interests of baseball” include protecting players and millions of fans of color, not allowing MLB to be perceived as condoning blatant discrimination and injustice, and taking a stand for fairness, equality and other values that Americans and baseball hold dear. Selig should stand up for these players, these fans and these values.
Such a move would not be unprecedented. The NCAA does not allow post-season events, such as the Final Four, to occur in states that fly the Confederate flag. Years ago the NFL stood up to Arizona over its refusal to recognize the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday and moved the 1993 Super Bowl. Those sports institutions defended their players and fans, even though there was no direct threat to their safety. The Arizona law, however, is a direct threat, and Selig ought to take action.
If MLB wants to maintain the right to call baseball America’s favorite pastime, and preserve the legacy of Jackie Robinson, the All-Star game should not go to Phoenix next year. Commissioner, for the sake of baseball players and millions of fans, move the game.
If you are in agreement that MLB should move next year’s All-Star game, please take action here.