PUNK. THE WORD still haunts him. He saw it in the faces of the cops in Arizona who pulled him over “a handful of times” as he drove his new BMW back and forth from his home to spring training in 2012. Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the controversial immigration bill, had gone into effect around the same time.
As Romo tells it, the first question was always the same: “Is this your car?”
Not, “License and registration, please.”
Not, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
But, Is this your car?
When Romo said it was, the next question was always: What do you do for a living?
“Why is that any of their business?” Romo asks. “I told him, ‘You’re only pulling me over because you see a guy with a big beard driving (a nice car and the state gives you the authority to discriminate.’
” And so, after the season, during the World Series parade in San Francisco, Romo wore a T-shirt that said, I just look illegal. There was a little something for everyone in the message. There was the prankster and the defiant guy whose stubbornness will never allow him to ignore a slight.
“Part of it was me being silly and goofy — look what I’ve got on,” he says. “Another part of it, legitimately, was that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished in life, people get treated the same. I know what it feels like to be discriminated against.”