Back in April, Cleveland Indians coach Sandy Alomar Jr. stated “[c]ertainly I am against profiling any race and having sterotypes, but at the same time my feeling is what does baseball have to do with politics? Let the politicians stay in politics and the baseball players play baseball.” Apparently, the immigration issue has a bigger impact on the Cleveland Indians than Alomar thought. The Associated Press reported today that, in light of its training in Goodyear, AZ, the Cleveland Indians are taking “extra precautions”:
The Cleveland Indians have taken extra precautions to be sure their young Latin players aren’t caught unaware and unprepared.
“We held a seminar under the direction of our cultural development director, Lino Diaz,” said Ross Atkins, the Indians’ player development director. “We brought in a local police officer to explain the situation and issued each player an ID card so they don’t have to rely on carrying around their visas and paperwork with them.”
The article explains that SB-1070 requires police officers, while carrying out their responsibility to enforce the laws, to verify an individual’s immigration status if they have “reasonable suspicion” that the person is illegally present in the U.S. Since the law provides no criteria for “reasonable suspicion,” the Associated Press points out that “a young Latin player who speaks no English might fit that description.” Given the fact that a large number of Latin Americans playing on major and minor baseball leagues, baseball managers want to avoid running into any problems.
Shortly following the passage of SB-1070, the Major League Baseball players’ union issued a statement condemning the law.