Wednesday, May 05, 2010

In which I use the word "proxy"

First and foremost, I try to keep the blog apolitical unless it directly involves with sports or the city of Victoria, Minnesota, like, say, a stadium bill or something. I feel like we're sort of getting into that territory with what is going on with the Arizona Diamondbacks. For those that don't know, there was a new immigration related law put on the books in Arizona that has rankled some people. Without getting into details or discussing either side of it, I'll jump to the point of this post. People across the nation, outside of Arizona, have decided to express their displeasure with the law by protesting at Diamondback games.
Some of the players have complained about this, and some writers have declared this to be lunacy. I disagree. We name our teams after the location in which they play, and when they go on the road, we expect them to be representative of us. This is why so many people want decent human beings on their teams, so they reflect better on the city they are playing for. This means they have to stand in, sometimes, and receive boos that are meant for the home state. It's what Team USA (in everything) does, and really, is there a difference? I assure you, Landon Donovan had as much to do with American foreign policy as Stephen Drew does with Arizona's immigration reform.
In a way, sports teams are ambassadors for the areas that they play. This must mean that they will become a proxy to the region they represent, whether you want to or not. Most people in say, Chicago, will not be going to Arizona any time soon (for this example), and they don't have a say in their politics anyways. If you feel strongly against this policy, why not protest in the face of the most notable emissary to Chicago from Arizona? It's not going to be terribly effective (protesting of any kind rarely is), but it registers your displeasure in an easily documented, public way.
As for the players who are upset by this, it all goes back to my original point. You are, whether you like it or not, a proxy for the citizens of your team's home. You know that whole thing about being about the "name on the front of the jersey" rather than the one on the back? This is one of those situations. There isn't anything to do about it, just quietly keep playing baseball.

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