Here's the letter:
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition appeals to Major League Baseball to take a public stand against the recently passed Arizona immigration law. We also urge you to move the scheduled 2011 all-star game from Diamondback Stadium in Arizona unless this law is repealed.
America's democracy is based on the values of freedom and equality--a level playing field for all of its people. The passage of the Arizona immigration law is an affront to these principles, representing the most divisive and polarizing approach to immigration reform. It is morally reprehensible and will be challenged as unconstitutional in the courts. This law – and the social "movement" that has inspired it – will have a negative impact on all of America's people.
Major League Baseball is truly an international sport. Well over 25% of MLB players are of Latino descent, and players, coaches, managers, and staff come from many countries other than the United States. From Jackie Robinson's breakthrough moment in 1947 to today, they make major league baseball one of the world's most popular sports. They come here legally, documented, with the single goal of showcasing their skills and contributing to the growth and success of Major League Baseball. They should not be subjected to humiliating and illegal harassment.
The Arizona law will have a devastating impact on the integrity and public image of Major League Baseball. Imagine if players or their families are stopped and interrogated by law enforcement – not just during all-star week, but during any games – spring training (where half of the teams locate in Arizona) and regular season – played in Arizona. That would truly be a dark day for Major League Baseball. We urge MLB to take all necessary measures to protect the rights and interests of your players, coaches, staff and their families.
Sincerely,Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
President and Founder/Rainbow PUSH Coalition