The Arizona Diamondbacks Pay Their Latinos $500k a Year. Racists! - NBC Chicago
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The Arizona Diamondbacks Pay Their Latinos $500k a Year. Racists!



    Angry about the new Arizona law that allows police to frisk anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant?

    Then there’s no better way to vent than demonstrating against one of the rare institutions in Arizona that pays Latino immigrants a six-figure salary: the Diamondbacks.

    About three dozen activists marched outside Wrigley Field before Thursday’s Cubs-D’backs game, vowing to boycott Arizona, and urging the Cubs to do the same by ending their tradition of holding spring training at Ho-Ho-Kam Park in Mesa.

    “Reform, Not Racism!” the demonstrators chanted.

    “This is a speedy path to Nazi Germany fascism,” declared Cub fan Connie Andersen.

    Meanwhile, inside the stadium, the Diamondbacks were beating the Cubs, 13-5, with help from Latino immigrants. Venezuelan Gerardo Parra, who earns $405,000, joined the game as a late-inning defensive replacement in right field. Tony Abreu, a Dominican making $407,000 a year, pinch hit for starting pitcher Ian Kennedy.

    The Diamondbacks have a long history of enriching and empowering immigrants, Latino and otherwise. When the team won the World Series in 2001, its closer was Korea’s Byung-Hyung Kim. And don’t forget Venezuela’s Omar Daal, an ace in the Diamondbacks’ early years.

    Demonstrators accused Diamondbacks’ owner Ken Kendrick of being culpable for the new law, because of his financial support for Republican legislators who passed it. But according to the team, “Kendrick personally opposes State Bill 1070. The D-backs have never supported State Bill 1070 and have never taken political stances.”

    Why would the Diamondbacks support a bill that allows the cops to arrest even legal immigrants, if they’re not carrying their papers? Like so many American businesses, the D-backs depend on immigrant labor. Suppose pitcher Rodrigo Lopez is pulled over for speeding on the way to the ballpark, on a day he’s so nervous about starting a game he leaves his green card at home. If Lopez gets thrown into jail, it screws up the team’s rotation.

    The immigrant rights advocates say they’ll be back today, for the second game of the four-game series.

    There’s plenty to hate about Arizona’s immigration law, but there’s nothing to hate about the way the Diamondbacks treat immigrants. Wait until August 28, when the Arizona Cardinals come to Soldier Field.

    There are no foreigners on that team.

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