This post was written by María Guillén Valdovinos of Washington CAN!
On Saturday, July 24, members of Washington Community Action Network and NWFCO, along with social activists from Seattle, rallied and dropped banners both inside and outside Safeco Field at the sold-out Mariners game against the Boston Red Sox. Wearing bright yellow t-shirts with black letters spelling out the message “MLB BOYCOTT AZ,” they used their bodies and banners to urge the Mariners, Major League Baseball (MLB) and Commissioner Bud Selig to “Do the Right Thing” and move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona.
The action was part of a special week-long national campaign that included multi-city actions. The campaign was launched by MoveTheGame.org, a coalition of organizations that has coordinated several rallies across the country to protest Arizona’s recent passage of the anti-immigrant and racial profiling law SB 1070. The demonstration puts Seattle on the map of a growing number of cities (not to mention MLB players) putting pressure on Commissioner Bud Selig to move the 2011 All-Star Game unless Arizona repeals its racist, anti-immigrant law.
It’s estimated that the All-Star Game could bring as much as $60 million to its host region. Arizona doesn’t deserve to host one of the America’s favorite sporting events, let alone to profit from its discriminatory law. Moving the All-Star Game out of Arizona could cost the state millions in potential revenue.
During the Mariners game, protesters received positive support from the fans, who were then encouraged to join the boycott. Local media coverage of the Move the Game action included an article by the Seattle PI ((Seattle PI, “Mariners called on to boycott Arizona all-star game,” July 23, 2010, http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/archives/215580.asp)) that was accompanied by an online poll asking readers if the Mariners layers should join the 2011 All-Star Game Boycott.
Unfortunately Mariners management and players have not yet joined the boycott, so at noon on July 29, Washington CAN! and NWFCO will deliver petitions to Mariners Headquarters and escalate the demand to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona.