On July 12, Major League Baseball turns to Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona for its annual All-Star Game. What is significant is that many of the game’s best players are Latino, 27 percent to be exact. At the time of the controversial SB 1070 bill passing in Arizona, many MLB players and managers expressed their disappointment and even hinted at boycotting the All-Star Game the following year. One player who was strongly against the passing of SB 1070 is Adrian Gonzalez, who at the time was playing for the San Diego Padres. He expressed that he would not play in the 2011 All-Star Game if selected. Another player who many believe to be the game’s best, Albert Pujols is also strongly opposed to SB 1070; unfortunately, he does not have to make the decision on whether or not to boycott the game, since this year he was not selected to the All-Star team due to injury.
Luckily, for the fans wishing to see their favorite players play in the game, the MLB Players association decided that no boycott was needed, due to a portion of the bill’s more controversial aspects being overturned in court. However, the game will not go on without caution. The Milwaukee Brewers and the Cleveland Indians both took measures to issue identification cards in the event that they are stopped by law enforcement while in Arizona.
Major League Baseball needs to understand the sensitivity of the issue, and it would not surprise me to see MLB honor past Latino baseball greats, or something of that magnitude. Over 60 percent of Latinos in the United States are baseball fans, and you can bet most of them will be watching closely.