Sen. Menendez Urges Boycott of Phoenix All-Star Game

May 10, 2010

(ChattahBox)— Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NY) is joining Rep. José E. Serrano, (D-NY) in calling for the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game to be moved from Phoenix, Arizona, to protest the state’s harsh anti-immigration law. In a letter sent today, Menendez condemned the law, because it “codifies racial profiling.”

Sen. Menendez is the only Hispanic member in the senate. And he penned a letter to Michael Weiner executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, strongly urging players to boycott the 2011 Phoenix game, until the onerous law is repealed or moved to another city.

Below is the entire letter:

“I first want to thank you for taking a public stand and expressing your opposition to Arizona law SB1070. I would also respectfully ask that you and your players consider boycotting the 2011 All-Star Game until SB1070 is repealed or the game is moved to an another location. The Arizona law is offensive to Hispanics and all Americans because it codifies racial profiling into law by requiring police to question anyone who appears to be in the country illegally.

As you and I both know, Major League Baseball (M.L.B.) is truly a multicultural, international sport. In fact, Latinos represent 27 percent of all M.L.B. players and 28 percent of M.L.B. players are foreign born. These players come to the United States legally and should not be subjected to the humiliation and harassment that SB1070 would inflict. Imagine if your players and their families were subjected to interrogation by law enforcement, simply because they look a certain way. Imagine if M.L.B. fans – many of whom are Hispanic – were subjected to that same type of interrogation if they were to attend the All-Star Game. That would truly be an embarrassment and an injustice, not only to M.L.B., but to the values and ideals we hold as Americans.

In every century and generation, immigrants have contributed to the progress, prosperity and vitality of this nation. This law undermines that shared history by promoting discrimination against one group of people. As someone who has and continues to fight for comprehensive immigration reform, I believe the Arizona law is a call to action for reform of our nation’s broken immigration system. However, while I understand the frustration about the failures of our current system, states should not be permitted to enact their own discriminatory immigration laws while the federal government works to reform our laws. The Arizona law is an embarrassment to our country and a call to action to our communities to stand up against injustice.

For these reasons, I ask that you consider boycotting the All-Star Game in Arizona until SB1070 is repealed or the League decides to move the game to an alternate location. Thank you for your attention to this important issue. It is my hope that we can work together now and in the future.”

Rep. Serrano Serrano also wants a boycott of the game, calling the Arizona “Show me your papers” law “unjust, wrong-headed, mean-spirited, and unconstitutional.”


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