Players Voice Opposition to Arizona Immigration Law

Gene Cherry, Reuters, July 13, 2010

An increasing number of major leaguers are expressing their opposition to Arizona’s controversial immigration law and some are calling for the 2011 All-Star Game to be moved from Phoenix.

“It (the law) reminds me of seeing the old movies with the Nazis when they ask you to show your papers,” San Diego Padres infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. told ESPN.com. “It’s not right.”

Civil rights groups were scheduled to protest the law before Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Anaheim.

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“I think they should move (the game), because it’s going to be a lot of Latin players in the All-Star Game,” Venezuelan-born Padres catcher Yorvit Torrealba said.

“I don’t think (the law) is fair,” Torrealba added “I don’t think anyone has the right to approach me or my family just because we’re Latino.”

Padres All-Star pitcher Heath Bell said he would consider boycotting the 2011 game if it is not moved.

“If I’m voted (to play in the game) I’m going to have to really think about it because I have a lot of friends that are not white,” Bell said. “Sometimes you need to stick up for your friends and family.”

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“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?” Pujols [St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols] told USA Today (www.usatoday.com). “That can’t be.”

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, however, supports the law.

“If the national government doesn’t fix your problem . . . you’ve got to fix it yourself,” he told reporters last month.

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