Darkness Once Again Falls Over The Game
It’s not that the game of baseball hasn’t done enough with regard to sports and race in this country . Well given the fact that era of Jackie Robinson and his introduction as the first player of a minority race to be allowed to enter and play the game professionally warrants the fact that they have progressed . But yet again this is the same game that would deny the right of a player to decide his own future as to where he could be allowed to play in terms of a team pending a trade. The management and executives held sway and at the time there wasn’t a thing that could be done by the player. Were it not for Curt Flood and his stance in fighting the hierarchy of baseball then for all sense and purpose the game would be very much remain in the guise of a plantation owner owning slaves. Almost every facet of their lives was ruled over by the plantation owner. And it was very much the same way for the game albeit that the MLBPA (union) would choose to side with the owners the vast majority of the time even when it was to the detriment of its very own members.
Now coming full circle and the game is now being used as a pawn in what could turn out to be a very contentious and most demonstrative case concerning the new immigration law that will come into effect later this year. Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona and the state’s legislature voted this into effect , which she then signed into law. Now that very same bill SB 1070 will be challenged by the Justice Department and INS jointly in the Federal Court System . Now in terms of there not being a comprehensive immigration policy we can only blame the successive administrations down the years who’ve failed to tackle this issue head on . There are those on the right who’d rather take drastic action without first weighing up the costs and then there are those who are on the left of the issue who’d say and do nothing but give the issue lip service. With that in mind it looks as if the fight will now become something where the game of baseball and in particular its hierarchy will be dragged into the midst of what could turn out to be one very contentious and possibly a racially divisive battle .
Slide show for your perusal .
Courtesy of USA Today
By Nicole Auerbach, with Jorge L. Ortiz and Peter Barzilai in Anaheim
Local Anaheim and other Southern California organizations planned to deliver more than 100,000 petitions to MLB commissioner Bud Selig on Monday, demanding that he move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona.
The organizations — representing civil, labor and immigrant rights — are using the petition delivery as a part of a national campaign to relocate the game. The campaign, MoveTheGame.org, was created to protest Arizona’s recent passage of the anti-immigrant and racial profiling law: SB 1070.
San Diego Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez, who was born in San Diego but lived 12 years in Mexico, stated earlier this year that he didn’t agree with the new immigration law. He reiterated it again on Monday and was joined by Albert Pujols in his stance.
“My first reaction was I don’t agree with it,” Gonzalez said. “It’s something that does affect my heritage. But at the same time now I have talked to a few people, I understand why it was put in place. I respect it. I respect their decision. I still don’t agree with it.”
“Move or not move? That’s a decision Major League Baseball has to make.”
Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols refused comment on whether the game should be moved, saying it’s out of his control, but did say he opposed the law.
Said Pujols Monday: “I’m opposed to it. How are you going to tell me that, me being Hispanic, if you stop me and I don’t have my ID, you’re going to arrest me? That can’t be.”
That stance is in opposition to his manager; Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa stated last week that Arizona should have the right to combat illegal immigration if it’s negatively affecting the state.
The campaign has activities scheduled for this week, and organizers hope to educate fans about the law.
On the eve of this season’s All Star Game being held in the expansive Angels Stadium in Anaheim , California . Could there be a more appropriate time to verify what the commissioner’s response might be on this very matter ? He’s chosen not to make any formal or informal statements concerning the matter but it is already clear that certain MLBPA union members and players are beginning to let their voices be heard on this very issue . They’ve called for the game to be withdrawn from being played in the state of Arizona next season at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ stadium ,Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona . Anyone of the belief that were the game to be withdrawn that there wouldn’t also be serious ramifications for MLB would be under a serious misapprehension. Planning in advance a great many businesses have gone into overdrive preparing for the very event itself and the economic impact from the staging the event runs into several million dollars for such a small metropolitan city such as Phoenix. Is it any wonder that there’s a clamor the teams host the event each season ?
I get the impression that Commissioner Bud Selig and the owners would rather this all disappear rather than it being left to the hierarchy and owners to come to a decision on this matter. And whilst both sides can post a valid argument on the issue this is where I for one feel that the game itself shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip to hold sway. But then again baseball hasn’t always been the one to act in a positive light when it comes to racial issues. Prior to integration within the game it was rife with some of the most unheralded racial bigots that one could ever wish to find and that’s not just some of the most heralded names within the game but also many of the owners and executives who saw fit to make the game last bastion of representing the dominance of the Caucasian male. Now we’re told that this was a sign of the times and that in many respects we’ve progressed as a nation and as a people. If that is very much the case then from a political standpoint there are those who in many respects would rather see the present incumbent of the White House six feet under than portraying the fact that he’s either a Muslim or socialist rather than admitting what they are too afraid to say in public and that he’s African American or more to the point he’s a “ nigger“. Truth be told it doesn’t matter who’s in the White House at present the morass that the country now finds itself is one of its own making wherein the both legislative chambers of Congress have been about as useful as fecal matter on the soles of one’s shoes.
Baseball for its part is now forced into delving into a place where it doesn’t want to go or be in. Suffice to say Commissioner Bud Selig had better pull his finger out of his ass and make a decision that shows that the game cannot be dictated to by those who choose to make it a hot potato . At the same time I’ve got to ask myself how is it that the administration and the state of Arizona not choose to show some common sense rather than acting like a bull in a china shop. Things are now getting so out of hand and it appears that neither side is prepared to give any leeway on this matter.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have on the matter ? And do you feel that baseball itself should be used as a pawn in this politically and racially divisive subject ? Leave a comment as to how you view the matter in general and I’ll look forward to responding to your comments in due course . Thanks as always !
NB: To read the Arizona State Senate Bill 1070 __(SB1070) in full just click unto the text link provided here within. SB 1070 ……..
Alan Parkins ……………………………aka tophatal _____ 🙂
Sam Cooke ………………………… “A Change Is Gonna Come”