In an e-mail sent to supporters yesterday, the Working Families Party asked, "Will Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera have to show ID to take the mound next year?" Saying that's a legitimate concern, the WFP is asking members and supporters to sign an open letter to the Yankees and the Mets, asking that they boycott the 2011 All-Star game in Phoenix unless the law is repealed.
The WFP notes that the tactic has worked against Arizona before, when in 1980 Arizona's Governor refused to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The NFL moved the Super Bowl out of Tempe in protest, and voters overturned him. WFP spokesman Dan Levitan told us, "Big games like these don't just bring in lots of tourist dollars—they are also powerful symbols about a society's values." The WFP has already gathered 2,500 signatures, and Facebook groups have been popping up urging members to boycott the game and even the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Levitan said they wouldn't call for a Diamondback protest, and admits that laws like Arizona's coming to New York is "unlikely." However, that's not the point. He says, "The anti-immigrant fringe is brimming with confidence after their victory in Arizona, and half a dozen other states are considering similar laws. If the Yankees and Mets stand up for their players and the millions of immigrant New Yorkers, we can deal the extremists a real blow." New Yorkers have held numerous protests against the new Arizona laws, which many believe will result in racial profiling and unnecessary harassment or Hispanics. Currently, about 28% of MLB players are of Hispanic origin.