MLB Players Speak Out Against Arizona Immigration Law

For Immediate Release

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Michael Earls
(202) 494-8555

MLB Players Speak Out Against Arizona Immigration Law

Players and Fans of National Pastime Forced to Confront What SB1070 Would Mean for Their Clubhouses and Communities

WASHINGTON - As Major League Baseball celebrates its All-Star game tonight in Anaheim, CA, a number of players are speaking out in opposition to Arizona's anti-Latino SB1070 law. Some are even promising to boycott next year's All-Star Game, scheduled to be held in Phoenix, AZ, if it is not moved to another state.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice, "In contrast to the Arizona law, which pits neighbor against neighbor and makes everyone who looks or sounds "foreign" into a suspect, our nation's pastime brings together people from all walks of life and nationalities. As a country, we are better and wiser than what the Arizona law represents and we should commend these players for standing up for American values."

Among the players speaking out against the Arizona law include the following:

  • St. Louis Cardinals first baseman and three time Most Valuable Player Albert Pujols highlighted his opposition to the Arizona law, saying, " 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.''
  • Milwaukee Brewers All-Star pitcher Yovani Gallardo stated that "If the game is in Arizona, I will totally boycott."
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. of the San Diego Padres said, "It reminds me of seeing the old movies with the Nazis when they ask you to show your papers. It's not right. I can't imagine my mom -- who's been a U.S. citizen longer than I've been alive, who was born and raised in Mexico -- being asked to show her papers. I can't imagine that happening. So it kind of hits home for me."
  • All-Star pitcher Heath Bell, also of the Padres, called for Bud Selig to move next year's All-Star Game and noted that he may not attend next year's game if he is once again selected, in a show of support for his Latino teammates. Said Bell, "If I'm voted I'm going to have to really think about it, because I have a lot of friends that are not white. Sometimes you need to stick up for your friends and family."

For more information on the All-Star Game 2011 boycott movement, please visit www.movethegame.org

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America's Voice -- Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform. The mission of America’s Voice is to realize the promise of workable and humane comprehensive immigration reform. Our goal is to build the public support and create the political momentum for reforms that will transform a dysfunctional immigration system that does not work into a regulatory system that does.

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