Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No Super Bowl, Or BCS, For You, Arizona

Drawing parallels to the confederate flag waiving state of South Carolina, and with historic reference to apartheid South Africa, Kevin Blackistone advocates a boycott of Arizona as a destination venue for college and pro sports:

It is time for the governors of college athletics -- and the officials who control the BCS -- to expand their postseason ban. Arizona should be next, immediately.

The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., should lose the BCS National Championship Game scheduled to be played there next January unless Arizona legislators rescind soon and for good an anti-immigration law they just passed that gives police the right to stop and search for documents anyone police suspect of being in the country illegally.


The NFL should toss out a bid it received recently from Arizona to host the Super Bowl in 2015. The PGA Tour, which held two events in Arizona in February, should scratch any Arizona stops from its 2011 calendar to prove it is more inclusive than it appears.

And Major League Baseball -- out of respect to the 29 percent of its players, four managers, one general manager and one owner who are Hispanic or from Latin America -- should certainly heed the call of an embryonic protest movement in Arizona and pull its 2011 All-Star Game from the Diamondbacks' stadium in Phoenix.
I would love to see this. After all, organized sports aside, Arizona will now have a much bigger spectacle to deal with - the unfolding of chaos throughout the entire public safety system as it tries to simultaneously reign in the inevitable abuses of this new power, while scrambling to defend itself against lawsuits from angry citizens not happy the bill isn't ridding Arizona of illegal immigrants fast enough.


John said...

One note: Arizona has already lost a super bowl for at one time not honoring MLK Day.

I think it's inappropriate for the major sports leagues to take sides in a political issue, especially when a national majority may favor this legislation.

What is without dispute is that illegal immigration from Mexico is a real problem in Arizona with legimiate adverse effects. As to whether this legislation is the appropriate public policy in response, I don't think we're going to persuade each other. What I would suggest is that if you are to criticize the legislation, then you propose what should be done instead. In that vein, I think we should also avoid calling the proponents racially prejudiced because one way or another the problems caused by illegal immigration must be addressed.

Dr. RosenRosen said...

Since sports teams are corporations or quasi-corporate entities, and since corporations and quasi-corporate entities now have the same constitutional protections for freedom of speech as natural persons (including political speech under the recent decision in Citizens United), I think it is perfectly appropriate for any sports organization to take any side they want in any political issue.

John said...

True, sports organizations are generally commercial enterprises, and as such, it's unwise to embark on an endeavor where a substantial portion of your customer base disagrees, especially when there's no clear "right" solution. Meanwhile, for many, sports are an escape from politics.

Professor J A Donis said...

A little off topic here, but nonetheless, addresses solutions to a problem:

Here are other viewpoints on matters of immigration:
1. This article is by Dr. Yaron Brook (President) and Dr. Don Watkins of the Ayn Rand Institute.
2. Here are a couple of short YouTube videos (11 minutes total) with Dr. Yaron Brook discussing immigration: (part 1) (part 2)

These viewpoints may surprise most of you, and you may disagree. I think they have very valid points.

Justus Hommes said...

Professor, I don't necessarily disagree with the points related to immigration in the article you linked.

The baby boomers will be retiring, and this would seem to indicate a coming labor shortage crisis in the next 20 years. But at the same time, population growth, either via reproduction rate of younger American citizens, or legal immigration, is stagnating or even declining. So as a country, we may be facing the choice to either aggressively expand immigration in order to continue experiencing the growth we are accustomed to, or learn to accept a Western Europe slow fade.

As for my proposal, John, I would first need to understand how numerous and legitimate any suggested adverse effects actually are. Can you name them? Second, I would need to make sure any state action was constitutional and did not interfere with the Federal governments powers regarding immigration. But none of this is necessary when passing a law for purely political purposes, which is exactly what happened.

Anonymous said...

I know next to nothing about the immigration laws and situation in Arizona, but it seems to me that if the passing of this law was purely for political purposes, then the boycott by a sports league, business, etc would be motivated by exactly the same thing. It all looks great in a commercial, but doesn't solve any problems.

Justus Hommes said...

Anonymous, I agree that any boycott would certainly have a political motivation, but it doesn't have to mean the boycotts are "pro-illegal immigrants." They could be pro-constitution, pro-civil liberty, or anti-racial profiling boycotts.

John said...

As a general rule, it's always purely political when the other side does it. :) Similarly, for many of us, if we fundamentally disagree with a policy, we have a knee jerk reaction that the policy must be unconstitutional. :)

There are many different dimensions to immigration policy, and our host touched on one of them. In fact, many in the software industry would love for us to bring in more highly skilled workers but are barred by a cap. Moreover, many immigrants (highly skilled or not) come here with the right attitude to work hard and make a better lives for them and their families.

Arizona's legislation is trying to address the uglier outgrowths of illegal immigration. These include increased crime, increased use of government services (health care, food stamps, education, etc.) without a corresponding increase in the tax base, the automatic citizenship that comes with our current policy on being born in the United States, an expanded labor force without necessarily more jobs, and others. I put most weight on the first two and would encourage anyone who criticizes the Arizona legislation to offer an alternative policy to address these issues.