In a statement released today, the Major League Baseball Players Association has issued its opposition to the Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law:
“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 We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly.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.”
Over a quarter of Major League Baseball players are Latino. Major League Baseball and the Arizona Diamondbacks have been pressured by progressive activists to take a stand against the bill. Some have already boycotted the Diamondbacks’ baseball games. Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) has even suggested that the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, scheduled to take place in Phoenix in 2011, should be moved to another location. Thus far, the teams’ front offices have resisted commenting on the law. There are “four managers, one general manager and an owner who are Latino.” This statement by the MLBPA today will likely increase pressure on team owners to comment on the law.
The Diamondbacks’ public relations office issued a statement yesterday claiming it would be “unfair and unjust” for them to take a position:
Although D-backs’ Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick has donated to Republican political candidates in the past, the organization has communicated to Arizona Boycott 2010 leader Tony Herrera that Kendrick personally opposes State Bill 1070. The team also explained that Kendrick is one of nearly 75 owners of the D-backs and none of his, nor do the other owners’, personal contributions reflect organizational preferences. The D-backs have never supported State Bill 1070 and have never taken political stances. The D-backs represent all of our employees, players, owners and fans who all have different political affiliations. It would be unfair and unjust for the D-backs to take a position because it can’t be reflective upon everybody’s views.
,Crooks and Liars’ John Amato posts video of the protest against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.