Senator Backs Push to Boycott All-Star Game

Posted May 10, 2010 at 3:36pm

The Senate’s lone Hispanic Member has joined the push to protest holding the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Phoenix.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Thursday wrote Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, asking him to encourage players to boycott the All-Star Game until the Arizona law is repealed or the game is moved to another venue outside the state. Menendez noted that 27 percent of MLB players are Latino and said the state’s new law could subject players and fans to racial profiling.

“Imagine if your players and their families were subjected to interrogation by law enforcement, simply because they look a certain way,” wrote Menendez, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and is also one of the Democratic Senators who have circulated a framework for comprehensive immigration reform in recent weeks.

“Imagine if MLB 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 MLB, but to the values and ideals we hold as Americans.”

Menendez’s move comes on the heels of calls to relocate next year’s All-Star Game to protest the Arizona law, which makes it a crime to be in the country illegally and empowers local law enforcement to check identification of suspected illegal immigrants. Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), whose District is home to Yankee Stadium, wrote MLB Commissioner Bud Selig late last month asking him to move the game.

Menendez’s note could find a sympathetic ear. Weiner came out against the Arizona law in an April 30 statement in which he called for the measure to be “repealed or modified promptly,” saying that it “could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States.”