Mexican baseball player Adrián González is leading an MLB campaign that encourages Latino players to put Spanish accent symbols on their jerseys. Less than three days ago, the L.A. Dodger dared teammate Enrique Hernández to do the same, by posting a tweet showing his jersey, accent included.
The campaign is noteworthy, especially considering how harshly this country supports assimilation. Just a couple of years ago, for example, a Texas principal tried to prohibit Spanish from being spoken at a local school.
Now, the campaign doesn’t aim to get everyone to start using Spanish accent symbols. The language options on keyboards can be tricky, and I don’t want to get on a path where I have to start familiarizing myself with German and Swedish symbols. But as someone who spent part of their childhood mispronouncing their own last name while at school, the #PonleAcento campaign resonates. It’s a reminder that we don’t have to leave any part of our identity behind just because we move to the United States, even if it’s something as small as an accent mark.
Latino peloteros have been poniéndole acento to Major League Baseball for a long time. Now, let’s hope that El Titán’s #PonleAcento campaign catches on, and that many players, like Enrique Hernández, start following in González’s footsteps.