Major League Baseball All-Star Game Boycotted by Human Rights Group Puente

The Phoenix-based human-rights organization Puente has called for a national boycott of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, to be hosted at Chase Field, July 12.

Puente's boycott stems from its opposition to Senate Bill 1070, the group announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

Raul Cordero, a member of Puente, says that hurting Arizona's economy sends a message of dissatisfaction about Arizona's controversial anti-immigration statute.

"This boycott is to avoid money getting to racist governments who promote hatred," Cordero proclaimed. "The revenue put into the system is what gives force to this racist state."

The activists plan a demonstration during the game outside Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Earlier this month Puente members rallied outside Mexican ranchero singer Vicente Fernandez's Phoenix concert, because of his financial ties to Budweiser.

The King of Beers, which has been designated the "official beer" of the All-Star Game, is also a leading product for distributor Hensley & Co., owned by Cindy McCain, wife of SB 1070-supporter and one-time immigration reform-advocate U.S. Senator John McCain.

McCain backed away from a pro-immigrant stance because of re-election pressure in 2010 from anti-immigrant radio talk-show host and former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth. Recently, McCain has weathered near-universal criticism for his blame-everything-on-illegals comment regarding Arizona's wildfires.

Puente members plan to communicate with baseballs stars who a year ago said they too would boycott the All-Star Game if they were chosen to be part of it.

Players such as slugger Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox's first baseman, and Milwaukee Brewers' pitcher Yovani Gallardo, said that they would avoid the midsummer classic if it was held in Arizona.

Fans have before midnight to vote for their favorites to start the game. Until then it's uncertain who will play.

Even U.S. Senator from New Jersey Robert Menendez asked MLB's union to boycott the state last year.

However, it seems unlikely any of the all-star players will actually boycott, as they haven't spoken out since initially opposing the game taking place in Arizona.

Cordero hopes Puente's message hits home to fans and makes them realize that Arizona is separating families because of anti-immigrant policies implemented by local law enforcement.

"We're asking fans not to go [to the game], but if they do to [demonstrate against the law in] some other away," Cordero declared.

He also added that the players who said they would boycott the game will be held to their word.

"We're asking the baseball players to assume their dignity and not to present themselves to the game," Cordero stated.

Puente member Tupac Enriquez said that the group will keep boycotting such events until Arizona's breathing-while-brown law is taken off the books.

"[Removal] of SB 1070 is the first criteria to move out of boycott and into a proactive position of creating a just and sustainable economy for Arizona," Enriquez said.


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