That’s Sergio Romo, San Francisco Giants closer, the guy who froze Miguel Cabrera on a gutsy fastball. I guess it’s not surprising that he’s equally gutsy in terms of his shirt choices.
“I Just Look Illegal”. It’s a hell of a message, and one that American society needs rubbed in its face a little bit. This election has been one of the most contentious in recent memory, and that contentiousness is in no small part because of race. It’s the underlying message of a large chunk of both the official Romney/Ryan campaign as well as the usual collection of blowhard pundits.
It’s sad, really, especially for those of us who have bought into the idea of a multicultural America where our differences are not just tolerated but actually celebrated and incorporated into our daily lives, but there’s a large percentage of America that doesn’t agree.
This was easy for me, because I grew up in suburban New Jersey, which has large populations of a wide variety of ethnicities. Multiethnic communities were never anything I really had to think about. They were just there. Living in Wisconsin now, I can see how more rural areas of this country develop more xenophobic attitudes. The fear of the unknown looms large in the heart of rural America.
There is perhaps no better forum for this sort of political statement than in the game of baseball, a sport that continues to grapple with its own racial history and politics, and the complicated demographics of the people who play and watch it.
Sergio Romo lives in a country where racial profiling still exists in a number of very real and life-altering ways, and his bold self-expression is a reminder that collectively, as a society, we have a long way to go. There are some who may complain that politics doesn’t belong in sports, but it would be far worse for Romo to just put on a smile and pretend he didn’t care. And look at that picture again: he’s still smiling and happy and reveling in the joy that is the Giants’ victory. He’s also reminding you that one victory doesn’t make everything all right.
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