All Star game boycott called off–new protest planned

Diamondbacks game at Chase Field, photo via Flickr/Ken Lund

The All Star game protest is evolving as groups that had been calling for a boycott for the past year have finally decided, with the game only a week away, that the boycott wasn’t going to be effective.

The game, to be held in Phoenix, has been the subject of a great deal of rancor from immigrant groups, Latino political organizations, human rights coalitions and even players themselves, many of whom are not happy with Arizona’s precedent setting immigration laws.

Now, though, instead of calling for a boycott, protesters are asking people to wear white ribbons to the game as a visible sign of protest.

From The Orange County Register:

Immigrant rights activists who for a year have called for a boycott of the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Phoenix are now changing tactics.

Activists canceled a call for the boycott of the July 12 game, according to news reports. Instead, Somos America is encouraging attendees to wear white ribbons on game day to take stand against Arizona’s illegal immigration legislation, according to the The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The group launched “Unite AZ: We Are All Stars Campaign.” The initiative calls for a “federal approach – not a piecemeal state approach – to fix our broken immigration system.”

Somos America – a group that includes more than 20 organizations – has campaigned for the boycott since last year.

Arizona Republic sports columnist Paola Boivin discusses the intermingling of sports and politics, even managing to throw in a quote from former Rockies player Yorvit Torrealba, who calls Arizona’s immigration laws “racist.”

From her column:

Protesters are expected. Many groups, including the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, have said they will show up to protest SB 1070, Arizona’s immigration law.

Even players have discussed it.

Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez called the bill “immoral.” Texas catcher Yorvit Torrealba said it is “racist stuff.”

Protesters will arrive. Signs will land on the news. Chants will make headlines.

This is not a bad thing. It will inspire debate and dialogue. One of the problems with politics in Arizona is the amount of disinterest. Many who live here are not from here. They don’t feel connected to the community and don’t choose to engage in political activism.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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