The Rev. Jesse Jackson and opponents of Arizona's controversial immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, are urging Major League Baseball's players to boycott Tuesday night's All-Star Game, which will be played in Phoenix. The law allows police to demand papers from anyone if they have a "reasonable suspicion" the person is an illegal immigrant, which critics say amounts to "racial profiling" of Hispanics. Activists say baseball players should make a stand because roughly 30 percent of pro players are Hispanic, but so far no All-Stars plan to sit out the game. Is that a disgrace, or is this really not their problem? (Watch an ESPN discussion about the controversy.)
The league's silence is shameful: When cameras pan across Major League Baseball's most famous faces Tuesday night, says Janet Murguia at The Huffington Post, "it will be a painful reminder" that Commissioner Bud Selig "failed to stand up for his Latino players, coaches, and fans." Selig should have by publicly denounced Arizona's SB 1070. Now the Hispanic community has ample reason "to stop supporting a sport that will not stand with us."
"2011 All-Star Game"
This is baseball, not politics: "What has happened with the All-Star Game is tragic," says E.J. Montini at The Arizona Republic, but not because players refuse to protest. The state's immigration legislation "isn't their problem." The tragedy is that people are acting like ballplayers are the bad guys because they won't boycott one of the biggest games of the year. Arizona has to deal with this issue "no matter what a group of young millionaire athletes does."
"Not the kind of boycott they wanted"
It is no surprise the players are staying out of it: The "cold truth" of Major League Baseball, says Jeff MacGregor at ESPN, is that the league has "a bad habit of hiding behind Mom and the apple pie whenever trouble starts." It left it to Congress to deal with the steroids scandal, and uses its antitrust exemption as a shield against criticism of greedy owners. By ignoring public pressure to boycott the big game, the All-Stars are just hiding "behind the apple pie again."
"All-Stars, mom and apple pie"