He’s already garnered acclaim for his pitch perfect play in this year’s World Series… But now Sergio Romo is getting attention for his political attire.
During the San Francisco Giants‘ victory parade on Wednesday, the team’s 29-year-old Mexican American relief pitcher – the closer last seen striking out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers on Sunday to end the World Series – donned a t-shirt that read, “I just look illegal.”
Romo, the son of Mexican immigrants, just miles from the Mexican border, set the social media world on fire in response to the provocative message he sported while parading through the streets of San Francisco.
“Giant hero indeed: Sergio Romo’s t-shirt at World Series parade proclaims ‘I JUST LOOK ILLEGAL,’” tweeted one fan.
“@SergioRomo54 Props to the shirt you wore! Big ups to you for blasting a solid message!!!!” tweeted another.
Immigrant activists around the country interpreted it as a satirical message about a term that many say dehumanizes immigrants in the country illegally — as well as American-born Latinos like Romo.
“You cannot tell who looks ‘illegal,'” tweeted Bay Area activist and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who thanked Romo for taking a stand. “No human being is illegal.”
Romo, who was raised in the small Southern California city of Brawley, said nothing publicly Wednesday about the shirt and partially concealed its message with a zip-up hoodie when he held the World Series trophy behind crooner Tony Bennett. He did, however, thank fans in a speech celebrating the Bay Area’s diversity and its “different folks with different strokes” and “different faces from different places,” then flashed the message on his way back from the stand.