The Phoenix Suns will break out the “Los Suns” uniforms in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals tonight in Phoenix as the fall-out from new legislation in Arizona continues.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the immigration measure in late April, which allows law-enforcement to demand proof of legal U.S. residency anytime and anywhere without provocation.
The measure, scheduled to go into effect in early summer, has sparked outrage from all corners of society, including the sporting world.
Suns owner Robert Sarver said the decision to sport the “Los Suns” uniforms was a way for the franchise to honor members of the latino community; today also happens to be Cinco de Mayo.
Steve Nash took it a step further when explaining the decision.
“I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties and I think it is very important for us to stand up for things we believe in.”
A powerful statement from a very influential man in Arizona. Nash has long been an advocate for social causes, but has never made his feelings regarding a political stance known in such an aggressive manner.
The measure has created a horrible public perception of the state of Arizona.
Last week protesters chanting “boycott Arizona” gathered outside Wrigley Field while the Cubs hosted the Diamondbacks, and a small plane even flew overhead for parts of the game with a message denouncing the measure.
The Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball have taken a stance, noting that much of its employees are of Latino descent and are now potential targets of law-enforcement in Arizona.
Nash said the Suns want to show that the people of Arizona want to be viewed differently than the law-makers who created and approved the measure.
“It doesn’t feel good to have people around the world and around the country look at our state as less than equal, less than fair. As proud citizen of this state, I want us to be held be held in the highest esteem. I think we have a lot of great attributes and a lot of great people and I think we need to be very cautious in how we respect our civil liberties and the tone we’re setting and the precedents we’re setting moving forward.”
The Spurs are not expected to wear “Los Spurs” jerseys tonight, but are said to fully support the Suns decision.
It will be interesting to see if the TNT broadcast addresses the issue–I have a feeling one analyst in particular who happens to be a resident of Arizona will have a few thoughts.
Game 2 should be fun.