Why I won’t be attending Cuban Heritage Day at Dodger Stadium
And why I pulled my post on the event. Yasiel Puig. Yes, he's a great ball-player, and thanks to him the Dodger's are in first place in their division. Yes, I think the Cuban community more than deserves their own heritage day at the stadium. Not only are they great Dodger fans, but have also made great contributions to the city and area.
Weeks ago a photo turned up of Yasiel in a Che shirt. Supporters declared that it was photo-shopped. Babalu's Henry Gomez tracked down the story behind the shirt, and based on that, I believe the photo is real. I chocked his willingness to don the shirt up to youth, indoctrination, and ignorance on Yasiel's part, but that ended any admiration I had for him, and you may have noticed I didn't mention him in the Heritage Day post, that is why. Regarding the Heritage Day event, I've tried to separate this one player from the event, telling myself that it's not about the one player; there are other Cuban players, and really the event is for the community. So I ignored my unease, and with ambivalence, mistakenly backed the event.
No longer, not after reading this:
ESPN: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig said Monday that he could see himself playing for Cuba, if defectors were allowed to play for the national team one day.
Puig was asked about the possibility because of a recent meeting between Dr. Tony Castro, the son of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and Oakland Athletics Cuban-born outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in Toronto. After that meeting, there has been speculation that Cuban baseball authorities might someday allow some of the Cuban defectors in Major League Baseball to compete in tournaments such as the World Baseball Classic.
Puig declined to comment specifically on the World Baseball Classic, saying "All I want to do is focus on baseball, whether I'm playing for Cuba -- where I was before -- or with the Dodgers."
If defectors are allowed to play? Not when Cuban players are free to choose where they work, and where they live, and he declines to comment, well, I'm declining support.
Daily, members of the Ladies in White, Hablamos Press, UNPACU, and other dissident groups and individuals in Cuba are beaten, arrested, and yes, sometimes murdered. Silence is complicity.