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Do Not Take Carlos Santana Out to the Ballgame, Do Not Buy Him Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

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Note to major league baseball teams: Do not invite guitarist Carlos Santana to accept a Beacon of Change award at your ballpark the same day your state governor passes a controversial immigration law. During a ceremony before the Braves-Phillies game at Atlanta's Turner Field on Sunday, Santana used his acceptance speech as an opportunity to lambaste baseball fans for simply living in Georgia. "I represent the human race. The people of Arizona, the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves," Santana told the crowd. Thankfully, Morgan Freeman managed to not offend anyone with his acceptance speech.

The Mexican-born Santana's issues with the people of Georgia and Arizona stems from the fact that both states have recently passed laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration that require employers to check the immigration status of their new hires. Georgia ranks seventh nationally with 425,000 illegal immigrants, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, so this is a sticky subject among its denizens. These laws are definite worth debating -- but probably not at a baseball game, where people go to escape politics and work and all those things.

"This is about fear, that people are going to steal my job. No we ain't. You don't clean toilets and clean sheets, stop shucking and jiving," Santana told the media after the ballgame started. "It's an anti-American law. It's a cruel law, actually. If you all remember what it was like here with Martin Luther King and the dogs and the hoses, it's the same thing, only it's high tech. So let's change it."

It must be frustrating for the Rock Hall guitarist to be relegated to being the second-most-famous Carlos Santana in America these days -- the Cleveland Indians' young star catcher has usurped him; just look at those stats -- but lecturing the patrons at a Braves-Phillies game probably wasn't the best way to draw fans to his cause.

[Photo: John Fazemore/AP]

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