Bud Selig is doing absolutely nothing again. Only this time he should be commended for it.
Many are pushing Selig to pull the baseball All-Star Game out of Phoenix next season because of Arizona’s new immigration law. Hey, it was bad enough when Selig mandated that the All-Star winner would get home field advantage in the World Series. But now some want an exhibition with a .190-hitter on the ballot (Ken Griffey Jr.) gets elevated to a major political platform?
Sorry. I understand sports and politics often mix. But if it says Braves-Phillies on the
marquee, I don’t want to walk through the turnstiles and get Red State-Blue State.
Athletics and politics often intersect. It’s unavoidable in the Olympics. It’s inevitable in professional sports when a high-profile athlete who wants to push his or her own agenda. But there’s a big difference between a league or team taking a public stand on something and an individual doing it. I don’t care where Major League Baseball stands on Arizona’s immigration law any more than I do where the New York Yankees stand on abortion.
The Phoenix Suns chose to wear commemorative “Los Suns” jerseys at a recent playoff game to protest for the immigration law. The NBA supported the Suns’ decision. No shock there. It was one more jersey the league could license and sell. Hardly the first time David
Stern sold out.
A sports columnist in Detroit attempted to draw a parallel between the NFL once stripping a Super Bowl from Arizona for not recognizing Martin Luther King’s birthday and the situation facing baseball. OK. Big difference. No.1, the last time I checked, Martin Luther King was actually an American citizen. He was the heart and soul of the civil rights movement. His birthday was a national holiday and observed in every state other than Arizona. How does that compare with the debate over whether to tighten immigration laws?
This issue came up again Monday. Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson released a statement that read, “I have respect for those who oppose the new Arizona immigration law, but I am wary of putting entire sports organizations in the middle of political controversies.”
This followed his previous comments: “I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff. … Where we stand as basketball teams, we should let that kind of play out and let the political end of that go where it’s going to go.”
He’s got it right. So does the baseball commissioner. Bud Selig: visionary.