Outrage is pouring out all across America over SB 1070. There's a ton of facebook groups popping up to help organize. The push is on to put pressure on MLB to stop supporting Arizona, their MLB franchise and now their Cactus League. Arizona has become host to 15 Major League teams that use the state for their spring training games before the start of the regular season. Cincinnati was the latest team to move their facilities over to the "police state." You may remember the departed Marge Schott, who owned the Reds was suspended from baseball for her racist epithets back in 1993.
The Cincinnati owner, the only female baseball owner, allegedly called two of her former players "million-dollar niggers" and also allegedly made disparaging remarks about Jews and Japanese.
Since almost 30% of MLB players are Latino, I'm trying to find out how many of those players are using work visas. I'm not attacking the players here, but if you were in America on a work visa to play baseball or any sport from another country and had to play in Arizona, wouldn't you be a bit unnerved?
And our own Seattle Mariners have an opportunity to take the lead.
According to a 2009 report from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, 27 percent of MLB players are Latino, by far the largest percentage of any American major league sport, while 28 percent of MLB players are foreign born. And in recent years team marketing departments have embraced the Hispanic fans who have been driving up attendance at ballparks around the nation.
So why should MLB and its teams continue to shower such immense economic largesse on a state that just passed laws intended to harass nearly a third of its players and the fastest growing segment of its fan base?
The MLB not only needs Hispanic players to help their teams, but it's counting on major dollars from our Hispanic population to pour into their bank accounts.
But the Mariners and the other Cactus League teams don’t need to wait for MLB to act. Las Vegas has been attempting to lure spring training camps for years, and even the mere act of publicly pursuing such negotiations would send a shockwave through local, tourism-dependent economies across Arizona. Likewise, there are municipalities throughout Florida that would be eager lure back a few teams who left the Grapefruit League for dryer climes.
By standing up now against Arizona’s oppressive and offensive new law, Mariners’ management and players would send a clear message to the fastest growing segment of their own fan base that they stand with them on this controversial issue, and that America’s pastime will not bend to such profoundly un-American political sentiment.
I'm working on organizing actions on this front. The Mariners are a good start for readers to put pressure on. All fans in every major league city should begin organizing protests when the Arizon Diamonbacks show up to their cities. Here's a link to their remaining schedule. It's up to you to go to work and send a message to Arizona and MLB.
And to all Hispanic baseball fans I have an ask from you too. 'Not one more Dime,' should be spent by a Latino on anything to do with a Jerry Colangelo owned team and especially on the Arizona Diamondbacks. They need your revenue to keep their operations floating. They are using your dollars to then help finance the Republican party which then in turn passes laws like SB 1070.
Not One More Dime, until SB 1070 is repealed.