It’s not often that the issue of immigration and sports run into each other, but a comment made last Friday by a talk show host on his Twitter account has dropped the issue of illegal immigration smack in the middle of America’s favorite pastime.
During last weekend’s Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants series (a rematch of last year’s National League championship series) Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez drilled Phillies’ outfielder Shane Victorino with a pitch causing a bench-clearing brawl. Nationally syndicated sports talk show host Tony Bruno took to Twitter in criticizing Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy for having his “illegal alien” pitcher hit Victorino. Bruno deleted the tweet immediately, but not before it was retweeted and forwarded out in the online world. While Bruno issued an official apology for his tweet on his Facebook page, he was still accused of being “racially insensitive.”
There is no reason to believe that Ramon Ramirez is an illegal alien – Major League Baseball has no problem securing non-immigrant P visas for foreign athletes – and Bruno’s unsubstantiated tweet was certainly in bad taste. But what is also remarkable is that the mainstream media is now labeling a term that is listed in encyclopedias and dictionaries and has been widely used to describe foreigners who are in the U.S. without permission, as being “racially insensitive.”
As is easily understood, immigrants – whether legal or illegal – represent all races, so it is an obvious confusion to conflate concern about illegal immigration with racism. What are your thoughts about this “incident” and the push by the mainstream media to “legitimize” illegal aliens?