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Migration of the All-Star Game

2010 April 30
by Victor Matheson

In response to concerns about potential racial profiling of its players, 27% of whom are of Hispanic origin, the Major League Baseball Players Association today issued a statement opposing the recently passed immigration law in Arizona and stated that “if the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members.”

One obvious¬†“additional step”¬†would be a boycott of the 2011 All Star Game, which is currently scheduled for Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Most economists here at TSE would consider this an empty threat given the small size of the real economic benefits of mega-events such as the All-Star Game. Ironically, given the effort that sports boosters have put into publishing exaggerated economic impact statements, however, such a threat would likely be given considerable credence.

Of course, while a boycott would be economically insignificant, one cannot deny the sociological impact of sports, and such an action would certainly attract massive media attention. But in terms of dollars and cents, the state would not even notice its absence.

3 Responses
  1. April 30, 2010

    Great post Victor.

    As you say, the financial impact is insignificant to the social impact such a move would make. There is no question this would generate international interest in a sport know for it’s racial diversity.

    This move would also be contingent all the players publicly marching in lockstep defiance against the Arizona legislation. While it seems that a solid majority would support the boycott, perhaps not everyone would.

    As far as the protestors at the games, I feel for the Diamondbacks getting sucked in to this debate involuntarily. It isn’t any fault of theirs that the Arizona legislators have taken this action.

  2. Greg Pinelli permalink
    May 1, 2010

    MLB Players Assoc should spend more time reading and less time pontificating. The Arizona law recently passed and then modified insignificantly today is simply a reflection of the 1940 Federal Law that requires precisely the same kind of identification demands for suspected illegal aliens. In any case…the MLB Assoc and San Francisco politicians will have the same effect…none.

    This pronouncement is really nothing less than obvious pandering to Hispanic players and fans..it is also pathetically oblivious to the immense dangers being experienced by Arizona citizens near the border and even deeper into the State.

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