Will Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera have to show ID to take the mound next year?
Major League Baseball’s 2011 All-Star Game will be hosted in Arizona, where a harsh new immigration law requires police to detain anyone they “suspect” might be an undocumented immigrant unless they can prove their legal status on the spot.
If Mets or Yankees players attend the All-Star Game, they could be subjected to the same suspicion, profiling, and harassment now threatening thousands of Arizonans — both immigrants and citizens. But if New York’s baseball teams say they won’t go, they could become leaders in a national push to move the All-Star Game out of Arizona unless this law is repealed.
We’re going to deliver an open letter to the Yankees and the Mets ownership asking them to boycott next year’s game unless Arizona’s law is struck down. Will you add your name to it — and ask every New York baseball fan you know to do the same? Go to:
The letter is addressed to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Mets owner Fred Wilpon and includes this message: “We urge you to take a stand for your players, immigrants and all Americans by publicly pledging not to participate in the 2011 All-Star Game unless it is moved out of Arizona or Arizona repeals its anti-immigrant, anti-American law.”
If Arizona loses its All-Star hosting gig, it will send a powerful message that America won’t stand for anti-immigrant extremism. And this tactic has worked before. In the 1980s, Arizona’s Governor refused to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — but he was overruled by voters after the NFL moved the Super Bowl out of Arizona in protest.1
Pressure is already mounting on Major League Baseball to move the game. Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Chicago Cubs, announced last week that he’d boycott the All-Star game unless the law was repealed or the game moved to another city.2 Then, the Major League Baseball Players Association condemned the misguided law.3 And on Sunday, Adrian Gonzalez, first baseman for the San Diego Padres, said he would boycott an All-Star game held in Arizona too.4
Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers made civil rights history right here in Brooklyn. It’s time the Yankees and Mets live up to that legacy by forcing MLB to move the All-Star game out of Arizona. Sign our letter, and then ask every freedom- and baseball-loving New Yorker you know to sign it, too: