If you grew up in Los Angeles and were a sports fan, you likely were a fan of the Dodgers.
When the O’Malley family owned the team, there was a myth about the Dodgers: They were seen as an almost perfect franchise. As such, supporting the team — especially by attending games at Dodger Stadium — was the right thing to do.
But how many people remembered, or cared to learn about, the highly controversial way in which that stadium was built? The Guardian details a new book that highlights how the poor and the disenfranchised were moved out so that the Dodgers could move in. Perhaps the most intriguing element of the story is this:
The long-standing, traditional Mexican American community at Chavez Ravine had started being uprooted in the early 1950s for a never-built public housing project. For Latinos, the construction of the stadium on that site engendered strong feelings of disempowerment and loss. The decade-long struggle by residents to remain on their land has gone into history as “The Battle of Chavez Ravine”.
The forced removal in 1959 of the last of Chavez Ravine’s families by sheriff’s deputies, televised live across the city, served as an impetus for the political and cultural radicalisation of the broader Latino community in the 1960s and beyond.
Reading the story (and, no, I’ve not yet picked up the book) got me thinking: Would such a stadium be built today?
What do you think?