So major-league baseball fails to step up to the plate. Big surprise.
This after commissioner Bud Selig, proving that the sport's annual everybody-wears-No.-42 tribute to the legacy of Jackie Robinson is just so much lip service, announced yesterday that baseball would not yank the All-Star Game out of Arizona next summer in response to the state's new Breathing While Hispanic immigration law. Under it, Arizona law officers are required to demand the citizenship papers of anyone they pull over, provided there is a "reasonable suspicion" they're in the country illegally.
Opponents have rightly pointed out that "reasonable suspicion" is not likely to include being white and driving a Mercedes, despite assurances from Arizona's pandering govenor, Jan Brewer, that racial profiling will be strictly verboten under the new law. Yes, and the tooth fairy is alive and running a juice bar in San Bernardino, Calif.
Anyway, the gonad-less Selig, whose constituency is 30 percent Hispanic, defended his decision by citing MLB's record in minority hiring. Wonderful. Good for baseball. Selig can cite that again next summer if some Barney Fife pulls over Albert Pujols or Johan Santana or Francisco Liriano for a busted tail light during the All-Star break and asks to see zer papers, pleaze.
I'm trying to imagine what the response would be from Roberto Clemente, an inordinately proud man, in that circumstance. I'm guessing it would involve suggesting places on his anatomy where Barney might stick his papers.
I mean, I've already felt the rumble as he rolled over in his grave.