After 18 years of service as commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig has not won many popularity contests. He has, in truth, made more poor decisions in his position as baseball’s chief executive than Ben Roethlisberger could even hope to make in a week of spring break in Cancun — so his low approval rating has certainly been earned.
However, it is high time for real Americans to show our respect and our gratitude to Mr. Selig for standing his ground in the face of persistent threats, intimidation tactics and blatant fear-mongering over the location of the 2011 All-Star Game.
A small number of major-league players have joined several high-profile groups, from the ACLU to the National Council of La Raza, in protesting the 2011 Midsummer Classic in Phoenix and attempting to pressure Selig into pulling the All-Star Game out of Arizona unless the state’s new immigration law is repealed.
Selig hasn’t flinched.
The commissioner has defended baseball’s proud minority hiring record as proof of the game’s stance against discrimination, and he refuses to be bullied by the mass of protesters who continue to spread false information about the Arizona law, including those at www.presente.org.
Robert Lovato is the co-founder of that website, which has partnered with other groups in an effort to have the game moved.
He stated last week that he was “very disappointed” in Selig’s stance and falsely claimed that Hispanic MLB players are having their “civil rights trampled upon” by his decision to “ignore the pleas of hundreds of thousands of people who signed petitions.”
Lovato could not, of course, provide any examples of civil-rights violations because none exist. The Arizona law expressly prohibits any sort of racial profiling, including the targeting of any persons based on skin color, language or ethnicity.
Police officers may ask for identification and/or proof of legal residency only in the course of standard police activities while on patrol.
Lovato and his supporters would also do well to avoid the “hundreds of thousands of people” argument, since 70 percent of Arizonans, and 60 percent of all Americans, totaling tens of millions of people, support the new law.
Another protest site called Movethegame.org went even further with its fear-mongering, falsely suggesting that players “with names like Rodriguez and Pujols” could be “stopped, harassed and possibly arrested” at the All-Star Game, as if their names alone would provoke a residency inspection.
The truth, as those of us who have actually read the bill are well aware, is that the only way Albert Pujols or anyone else would be asked for identification is if he were speeding in his rental car on his way to the Home Run Derby.
Thank you, commissioner Selig. Stay strong, sir. Do not cave. You have done the right thing on behalf of all who believe in American sovereignty and federal law. Now, keep on doing it in the face of the threats and the intimidation. You’ll be a better man, a better commissioner, and most importantly — a better American for having done so.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.