Do you remember that time in 2000 when some MLB players were protesting and didn’t show up for a game? The majority of those involved were on the then-named Florida Marlins: Alex Fernandez, Vladimir Nunez, Michael Tejera, and Mike Lowell. In fact, Marlins management gave permission to any employees who wanted to miss the game on April 25, 2000. Also protesting were three Marlins coaches – Fredi Gonzalez, Tony Taylor, and Luis Perez – as well as assistant to the GM, Tony Perez. Players on other teams joined the protest as well: Jose Canseco, Rey Ordonez, and Cookie Rojas.
What were they protesting? A federal court ruling that 5-year old Elian Gonzalez had to be removed from his Miami relatives’ home and returned to his father in Cuba. The Marlins’ protest was part of a larger protest by Cuban residents of Miami and other cities around the country.
In 2015, ABC News interviewed Elian Gonzalez, who said he would like to visit his family in Miami some day. He also said he’d like to see a baseball game and visit museums in Washington. Come visit any time, Elian.
By the way, the Marlins lost that game to the San Francisco Giants. That year they finished 3rd in the NL East with a record of 79-82.