Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Group Calls on Yankees, Mets to Boycott All Star Game

According to the Washington Post, when "...[President] Obama returned to Washington from Illinois Wednesday night, he walked back to the press cabin on the presidential aircraft and, in an impromptu Q&A, essentially declared immigration reform dead. He said "there may not be an appetite" for it."

So, since Arizona's "controversial" immigration law aimed at addressing the 400,000 illegals within the state's borders in light of the lack of a federal backbone on the issue has fallen on deaf ears in the White House, advocates are looking at bringing attention to the subject at the heart of America - the national pastime in the Big Apple.

Today on Cinco de Mayo, the American holiday celebrating the rich history of drinking tequila and Dos Equis while wearing sombreros, the New York Daily News reports that a supposedly influential group known as the Working Families Party "gathered more than 2,500 [more All Star votes than Javy Vasquez] signatures yesterday on a petition it planned to deliver to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Mets owner Fred Wilpon" reading:
Dear Mr. Steinbrenner and Mr. Wilpon,

Without immigrants, New York wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't have two of the greatest baseball teams in the world. 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.

WFP Director Dan Cantor notes, "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."

What the Working Families Party neglects to acknowledge is that in recent years, the economic impact of MLB All Star games can reach approximately $60 million. With advocates pronouncing the contributions immigrants make to local economies and communities, in a state with such a large population of Mexicans, inevitably, pulling such an event out of the area will negatively impact the ability of these workers to earn an (illegal? untaxed?) day's pay.

In reality, the group is using these teams and their players as a press hit to draw light to the issue. But, please, leave your politics out of my baseball. There are plenty of advocates, politicians and citizens making a fuss about the issue. If anything, Arizona actually taking a stance has brought the issue to the forefront of debate - an issue that most acknowledge something has to be done on. While imperfect, use said stance to craft policy and discussion, not press gimmicks that will impact my ability to watch the mid-season classic.

Besides, Steinbrenner thinks he's an astronaut nowadays and used the petitions to wipe tapioca off his chin.

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