Phoenix Suns smart to don “Los Suns” jerseys

Posted by on May 4th, 8:38 pm

Jason Richardson and the Suns will don their "Los Suns" jerseys on Cinco de Mayo in Game 2 to make a political statement. (Alan Walsh/ValleyoftheSuns)

Jason Richardson and the Suns will don their "Los Suns" jerseys on Cinco de Mayo in Game 2 to make a political statement. (Alan Walsh/ValleyoftheSuns)

Aiming to make a statement in opposition of the recently passed Arizona immigration law, the Phoenix Suns will wear “Los Suns” jerseys during Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the San Antonio Spurs on Cinco de Mayo.

The Suns, who sported those jerseys twice during the season and won both games, feel the bright lights of the playoffs will provide the perfect venue for this pointed political statement.

Suns owner Robert Sarver released the following statement:

“Our players and organization felt that wearing our ‘Los Suns’ jerseys on Cinco de Mayo was a way for our team and our organization to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the State of Arizona, and our nation.  We are proud that 400 players from 36 countries compete in the NBA, and the league and the Suns have always considered that to be a great strength of the NBA.

“The frustration with the federal government’s failure to deal with the issue of illegal immigration resulted in passage of a flawed state law.  However intended, the result of passing this law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question, and Arizona’s already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them.”

The new state law, which makes it a crime to illegally be in the country, allows cops to request documents from people who with “reasonable suspicion” seem as if they may not be legal citizens. Opponents of the law fear this will lead to widespread racial profiling.

Steve Nash, who has never been shy to voice his opinion on political issues, strongly opposes the law as well and thinks what the Suns are doing about it is “fantastic.”

“I think the law is very misguided,” Nash told The Associated Press. “I think it’s, unfortunately, to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties. I think it’s very important for us to stand up for things we believe in. As a team and as an organization, we have a lot of love and support for all of our fans. The league is very multicultural. We have players from all over the world, and our Latino community here is very strong and important to us.”

The Suns — who asked the their players if anybody was in opposition to wearing the “Los Suns” jerseys and had no dissenters — are absolutely doing the right thing here after the D-backs faced protests at road games last week and after national leaders have called for boycotts of Arizona.

Surprisingly, the Suns have not caught much flak on the issue aside from a humorous sign in Portland in which a Blazers fan told Nash that Governor Janet Brewer wants to see his papers. But with the national spotlight firmly fixed on the Suns, it likely was only a matter of time before the Suns became more visibly connected to the issue.

It’s not fair for any sports team to be tied together with any political issue, especially one the majority of the team opposes, but that’s life. The Suns needed to send a message that they oppose this law before that happened to them, and that’s what they are doing by wearing the “Los” on their jerseys.

At the same time, you’ve got to commend Sarver for taking a stand for something he believes in on a national stage. It’s always safe not to comment on politics. Don’t they say politics and religion are the two things never to bring up on a first date? As J.A. Adande writes, it takes some major cojones for Sarver to make this big of  symbolic gesture along with the strongly-worded statement against the immigration law.

That’s not to mention that this will likely further endear the Suns in the hearts of the Hispanic community as well as the international community at large. Led by a player like Steve Nash who so strongly opposes this measure, the Suns can be seen as a beacon of opposition to the law instead of a symbol of the actual law.

Finally, I hope the nation understands that people in Arizona aren’t a bunch of cowboys who want to round up all the Latinos and send them back to Mexico and South America. Maybe some people think that way, but many other people in this state view the world as Steve Nash does. Arizona businesses should not be boycotted and the Suns should not be reviled because of SB1070.

Wearing “Los Suns” jerseys on Cinco de Mayo in front of a captive primetime national television audience should go a long way toward ensuring national public opinion doesn’t turn on the Suns because of the immigration law.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns News · Playoffs · Robert Sarver · San Antonio Spurs · Steve Nash

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan // May 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    So let me get this right… 70% of Arizona is opposed to ILLEGAL Immigration. The Phoenix suns are a business that needs to sell tickets to the general population to make payroll and do the basic things that a company needs to do to survive. So instead of trying to sell tickets, they want to INSULT 70 percent of their fan base (ticket payers) and tell them they are wrong for opposing ILLEGAL immigration… sounds like a plan for disaster… disaster for any business that NEEDS customers to survive. Am I wrong?

  • 2 Brett // May 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Totally agree, Dan. This isn't about Latinos. This is about the rule of law. The state of AZ is just following the rule of law and bam! now businesses are going against the state for enforcing those rules. Illegal immigration's effects have been seen from Arizona to California to New York… you can't have 50 million (don't believe weak estimates) people using our health system, school system, social programs who aren't paying taxes and be a society that will succeed. Can't work. If they come here legal as founding fathers sought, different story. My bankrupt state of California is boycotting Arizona… what a freakin' joke. What do you think got us where we are in the first place? Boycott this game.

  • 3 Bob // May 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Dan is right. And…how many ILLEGAL Immigrants play for the Suns or any other NBA team? None. That would be ILLEGAL. Why display support for lawlessness? I'm a long time Suns fan but this so ignorantly stupid, I need to remove them from my favorite teams list.

  • 4 Sunny // May 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    So, in essence you are saying you support illegals. Therefore, let the illegals support you. As much as I rooted always for the Suns, I will no longer do so. I don't support anyone who supports illegals.

  • 5 Mark // May 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Keep politics out of sports! Shame on "Los" Suns. Let the illegals pay $100 per ticket and $35 for t-shirts. I'm done with them.

  • 6 Bob // May 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Mike – talk about mis-characterizing, you obviously haven't read the law. You say it mandates profiling?Quote the clause that mandates it. I have it in front of me. Where is the mandate? Which section? Which paragraph? It's not there. In fact, I see here that the officer is mandated to call federal authorities and verify status BEFORE taking any action regarding immigration status. That's the EXACT OPPOSITE of profiling. It doesn't strengthen your argument when you make uninformed, ignorant statements. The Suns are just as ignorant as you are.

  • 7 Tony // May 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Brett, illegal immigrants do pay taxes from everyday purchases to the dead chinese man's social that is being used to get underpaid employment. It will not be the Dans, Bobs, or Mikes that are getting pulled over while driving and obeying the traffic laws.

    So enjoy your money when the restaurant prices go up, your body shop charges as much as the dealer, construction including the highways and city streets take 4 times as long to finish while paying higher taxes. Oh and don't forget about the old lady down the street whose yard goes uncut and makes your neighborhood so unappealing.

    Steve Nash like many others, came here to pursue a better opportunity. Argue all you want that it is not mandating racial profiling but hide in the back seat, drive around with your someone brown you know if any and see how long it takes to get pulled over for "your brake lights are dim".

    Deport all the illegal immigrants contributing positively to society you can but the drug runners are still going to make their way to the Dans, Bobs, and Mikes if that is of any concern to you. Goodluck in the playoffs and enjoy your 5th of mayonnaise!

  • 8 Mike Meez // May 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Bob, of course the law doesn't say "You must racially profile". The law does say that police must stop anybody they suspect to be illegal immigrants if they have "reasonable suspicion". I'd love to hear how you would have "reasonable suspicion" that someone is here illegally other than on the basis of race. How can someone LOOK illegal? A Mexican-American citizen and an illegal immigrant from Mexico could both be stopped.

    By the way, police already find criminal illegal immigrants. When the police arrest a criminal suspect, they inquire into the person's background and can find out immigration status pretty easily. I saw this first-hand on a police ride-along. We responded to a domestic violence call and arrested the guy who turned out to be illegal. He went to jail that night and was going to be deported in the next couple days. So, if we can already find the truly criminal illegal immigrants and deport them, what is the point of officers wasting their time hunting for illegal immigrants just here to work?

  • 9 Mike Meez // May 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Yes, Dan, you are wrong. I don’t know where you got your statistic but it seems like a mischaracterization of the debate anyway. This is not about being for or against illegal immigration. As many recognize, including Sarver, the federal government has failed to act concerning illegal immigration. However, that does not give license to state governments to take irresponsible actions in the name of border protection. The state legislature has basically taken a sledgehammer to civil liberties when it needs a scalpal to deal with illegal immigration. The negative side effects of the law are going to swallow any potential benefit. This gesture by the Suns is simply telling the Latino community in Arizona and elsewhere that the organization does not support a law essentially mandating racial profiling of their community. I applaud the organization for its courage…..Bring on game 2!

  • 10 Eddie // May 4, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I’ve never been prouder in my life to say I’m a Suns fan. I say that while at the same time, I’m sure there are a number of motivations that Sarver has for doing this. From a communications standpoint, I think Michael is very right to mention getting in front of the story, but it’s much more than that. Big companies with something to lose never do this sort of thing these days, and it’s because of Dan’s point above: losing money. As MJ said, “Republicans buy Nike’s too.”

    Now, aside from Sarver, you know that Nash only has one, 100% genuine motivation for doing this, and I’m sure he has a HUGE influence on his teammates.

    I really hope that this event gives pause to some of those, like other commenters on this site, who want to view the immigration issue in stark black and white. Some athletes that you truly admire, some really good men, Nash, Hill, Gentry, and Co., care about this issue so passionately that they’d do this. Take a moment and at least listen and try to appreciate their side of the argument. You might not change your mind, but you might at least realize the issue is not so simple or so crystal clear.

    Anyhow, we got a game to play. Go Suns!

  • 11 Bob // May 4, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    But it IS simple and crystal clear. It’s written in black and white. Just read the law. Then obey it. It’s that simple.

  • 12 Anonymous // May 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I love the suns! And I love politics! I feel the suns should never have made a statement, but what’s done is done. If the whole G D country would just take the 15 minutes it takes to read the bill, they would realize its almost identical to the one the senate passed last year and does not infringe upon the rights of anybody, citizen or illegal. But, that won’t happen and people will continue to be pursued be fancy rhetoric and false doctrine. We’re all headed down the toilet bowl, might as well enjoy the ride! Hope this series goes 7 and the Suns win it all.

  • 13 Jasper Buckleman // May 4, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    No one can argue that illegal immigration isn't a huge problem in AZ. Of course it is and something needs to be done about it. Unfortunately, this law does nothing. All it does is harass the legal immigrants, add to the already overcrowded prisons, and if some people actually get deported (and that is a big if), the criminals that everyone so desperately wants out of the country (understandably so) just come right back over. This law does nothing to curb that and it just becomes state mandated racism. It's not fair to the officers required to enforce it, and it's not fair to the citizens demeaned by it.

  • 14 Tyler // May 4, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I've been a Suns fan since the early 1990's and I'm having a hard time hoping that the Suns win tonight. If you've read the law and understand the original federal law it copied then really you should have no problem with SB1070. What the law basically does is add about 50,000 border patrol to the state. It gives the same rights given to the border patrol federally, however racially profiling that might be. Do you really think border patrol along the Arizona-Mexico border are looking for Germans? It's the same law, same wording, but now that there are finally enough servicemen to really slow down illegal immigration you take a stand against it.

    The leftist media has distorted what papers you have to carry, do you carry a drivers license? Then you're fine. Don't have a drivers license get an Identification card for $3. You don't have to carry around anything other then that.

    I don't have a problem with the Suns wearing the Los Suns jerseys for Cinco De Mayo, but I do have a problem that its politically charged. Sarver's explanation works for me as he's blaming the federal government who have done nothing to fix the problems, but to say that Arizona did was misguided is contradictory to his first statement. Just like how the media says at least something had to be done to fix healthcare, even though it has problems, Arizona had to do something to fix illegal immigration.

  • 15 José // May 4, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I commend Sarver and the Suns for doing this. Illegal immigration is of course a very real problem in the U.S., but the simple-minded us vs. them mindset of the FoxNews crowd is chilling. Opposition to this law is all about protecting the rights of U.S. citizens who will be unfairly harassed because of their ethnicity or skin color. American citizens should should not be presumed guilty.

  • 16 Rich // May 4, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Tony – tell me, do those sales taxes make up for the elevated crime levels they cause?

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/305516/statistics_crimes_commited_by_illegal.html

    How about the jobs that they take?

    http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2010/04/23/20100423arizona-illegal-workforce-audit.html

    Or the fact that only 4% work on farms and that less than 25% of all farm workers are illegal. Kinda shoots that “Americans won’t take those jobs” argument in the foot doesn’t it.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5250150

    Wow! 1 in 20 workers are illegal. Remind me what our unemployment rate is now.

    And did you factor in the overuse of our emergency rooms? You know. The places that they use as though they were primary physicians that also cost 10 times the cost.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1303412/

    And how about the environmental damage. Did you factor that in as well?

    http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/trashing-arizona/Content?oid=1168857

    Now maybe if we deported all immigrants, prices might go up. But so would wages across the board. Thus there is no economic benefit. Especially since they are keeping more Americans on unemployment benefits.

    I was a die hard Suns fan ever since I moved here. But if they want to ram their politics down my throat, I will ram mine down theirs by rooting against them. I am hereby no longer a fan.

  • 17 K.C. // May 5, 2010 at 12:13 am

    I hate to admit after this that I am a Suns fan. Just jump on the band wagon and get political. Can't they just keep their mouths shut and play basketball. Nash is from a different country and is here legally. We can't go to Canada and drive a car without a drivers license. Can't do it in Mexico or any other foreign country. If we did it we would end up in jail if we didn't have ID. Well, that is what this bill is about. I would be willing to bet that not one of the Suns has read the bill. Most people haven't read it, but they think they know what it says. Guess that will save me some money though because I won't be going to a Suns game in the near future. I will give my seat to someone that will support lawlessness.

  • 18 Gail // May 5, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I have been a Suns Fan for many many years, but you have just lost "your Greatest Fan status" from me.

    Give your jerseys to the illegals, let them take them back home, where they don't have to "hide" their nationality. Any American citizen should be proud to show ID that they are a citizen of our country.

    Its not a recent Arizona law, its been a Federal law

    from the beginning.

  • 19 Jasper Buckleman // May 5, 2010 at 12:28 am

    No wonder Arizona is in the crapper. The whole state is filled with idiots. I’ve never been so glad to be out of the state and it isn’t because of the Latin Americans. Kudos to Sarver and the Suns for making a gesture against turning Arizona into a modern day Nazi Germany. Who do you think is going to get pulled over for “reasonable suspicion” of being illegal? The aryan looking guy with a German accent? No, it’s going to be the brown looking guys named Garcia & Lopez. I will never again step foot in the state I grew up in (since I’m brown and don’t feel like carrying my passport around my neck all the time), but at least I can still be proud of being a Suns fan.

  • 20 Molenir // May 5, 2010 at 12:39 am

    This is only about illegal immigration. Thats it. If you support illegals, then you oppose the bill, if you are against them, then you have no problem with it. Well, unless you’re a gullible idiot, I leave that to you to decide. From my point of view, if the suns want to wear Los Suns, they should move the team to Mexico. If however they want to represent the valley, they should stick with Suns. Its up to them to decide, who they represent, the illegals, or the citizens who support them.

  • 21 Jasper Buckleman // May 5, 2010 at 12:57 am

    This isn’t about illegal immigration. It’s about racial profiling. This isn’t a bill that says illegal immigrants are criminals. That’s already a law and it’s stated right in the term “illegal immigrants”. That part of the bill is redundant. It’s requiring, REQUIRING, officers to ask for proof from anyone who they reasonable suspect to be in the country illegally. Well, how does one come to reasonable suspect someone else of being in the country illegally?

  • 22 dc politician // May 5, 2010 at 1:54 am

    man, the state of arizona really has some discriminative rednecks, either that or they’re just too blind or not bright enough to comprehend the motive behind this act.

  • 23 Tony // May 5, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Rich, your stats are coming from anti-immigration websites not the FBI or INS. Here is a link to the INS and ICE websites. Please let me know where I can find your stats from the direct sources not someone’s blog.

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

    http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/factsheets/index.htm

    Did an illegal immigrant take the IT and auto manufacturing jobs away? No, many have the jobs an American meth head normally can get (construction, automotive repair, sweat factories, lawn care). Do you really want want a meth head sweating all over your food or find the heroin addict crashed out in the restroom they were supposed to clean? I know from having hired and fired them trying hire a non immigrant. My guest and I prefer to have someone that can put pride into cleaning room. If you are rooting against the Suns then you would be rooting for the Spurs from San Antonio, right? Have a great day!

  • 24 Tony // May 5, 2010 at 3:40 am

    it’s late…left a word or two out from the comment above. Enjoy!

  • 25 David // May 5, 2010 at 3:51 am

    dc politician, yes we’ve definitely got rednecks but if everyone in the state voted, no way would this be going on right now. I’d say there’s about an 85% consensus that we’ve got to control the inflow of people across the border.

    The real debate is in deciding what to do about the people who are already here and have established themselves, raised children and are contributing to the community but are undocumented. I believe they deserve a chance to stay as long as they pay a fine or some kinda penalty for breaking the law.

    Others feel they should face instant deportation.

    The authors of the law favor the later point of view and take a step further by penalizing everyone who was not born in the country by requiring them to carry their green card at all times like it were a drivers license.

    To that I’ll simply say that losing your green card IS NOT like losing your driver’s license. Before I became naturalized, my parents kept mine and my siblings’ in a safe and would have never allowed us to just go driving around with it, especially at the age of 16.

    If this law had been enacted back then they probably wouldn’t have allowed us to drive at all for fear that we would lose it and be arrested.

    In a nutshell, the law broad-swipes every non-citizen in the state in its attempt to curb a very specific problem. Arizonans, as a whole, would have never supported it if we’d all made our voices heard. I’m anti-illegal immigration. But I’m more anti de-humanization and degradation of people who are mostly just trying to survive.

  • 26 Molenir // May 5, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Jasper,

    It is defined, because of criticism, they passed a follow up bill. It basically clarified the circumstances under which people need to be asked. What it means is, if you've broken the law, the cops are going to ask you if you're in the country illegally. If you have a drivers license, its considered 'proof' of legality. Same thing if you have papers. If you don't have either, they'll try to identify you other ways. They won't just deport you. They will however throw your but in jail while they do their job.

    Why is it that so many support the illegals? Why is it that so many think enforcing the law is wrong? Sorry, but for me, I think the illegals should go back and wait in line like so many others who came to the country legally.

  • 27 Justin // May 5, 2010 at 4:57 am

    All this does is show that sarver doesn't give a shit about winning. He didn't have to do this… Not now when we are in a playoff series. This is the biggest possible distraction there couldve been and sarver brought it on himself. Any owner that cares about winning and basketball wouldn't have put this on his team when they're in a situation like this. He shouldve kept his opinions to himself…. What an idiot

  • 28 Rocco // May 5, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I'm shocked at the lack of understanding surrounding this issue. Empirical studies show immigration reduces crime. Here's a blog post from Cato (libertarian think tank, so you know they aren't just democrats supporting illegals) that links to a study.
    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/04/27/misguid

    Also, people seriously need to understand the definition of "rule of law." Rule of law is not the same as rule BY law; it is a legal maxim that requires equality before the law. Others are correct in saying that rule of law is an issue in this debate. SB 1070 VIOLATES the rule of law, by treating a sub-section of the population differently. It implicitly puts a restraint on a sub-set of the populace.

    Bottom-line is that this bill violates the civil liberties of the Hispanic community. We need an immigration policy that does not "sacrifice essential liberty for temporary safety" (Ben Franklin).

    Also, the poll figure about the bill having 70% support is insanely misleading. That is of likely voters. Likely voters tend to be older and white.

  • 29 Rocco // May 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Again, rule of law is not the same as rule by law. Rule of law is a concept that refers to what the law should be. The law should be equally applied to all peoples. Saying that something is law and therefore should be followed IS NOT RULE OF LAW. Seriously, at least make an effort to google stuff before you type it.

  • 30 asani // May 5, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Only problem with what Brett said is the founding fathers never came hear legally if you want to say killing off the indigenous people is legal then you are absolutely right. I find it disturbing that anyone can talk down on immigrants especially since there is no people in America who are native to it other than the Native Americans. The latinos have a right to be here just like anybody else. Instead of repudiating them why don’t you repudiate the people who drove them out of this land in the first place.

  • 31 Jasper Buckleman // May 5, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Tyler, you’re naive if you think having a driver’s licence means your in the country legally. I worked with a man who was in the country illegally that had 2 licences under two different names (but he isn’t Latino, so no one cares). Most of the law is reiterating what’s already federal law which is fine. It’s considered trespassing if your in this country illegally. Already a law, but fine. It’s illegal to knowingly employ an illegal alien. Again, already a law, but fine. Also, the fund mentioned at the end of the bill to help border patrol is a good idea, since that’s where the money should be going. But why do the following sections need to be in the bill?
    A. NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR
    RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL
    EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.
    B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY
    OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS
    UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,
    WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE
    PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

    Again, what is reasonable suspicion? And why would officers be negligent if they don’t think there is reasonable suspicion, but a special interest group does (that’s addresses later in the bill)? Why do these sections need to be in the bill? How do they help, not hinder, Arizona?

  • 32 Brian // May 5, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Remember…

    #1. This is Robert Sarver we’re talking about.

    #2. Folks are calling for boycotting sporting events in AZ over this bill (=lost income to sports events).

    #3. This is Robert Sarver we’re talking about.

    Do the math.

  • 33 Hersey // May 5, 2010 at 7:44 am

    It’s Cinco de Mayo, politics aside I thought they’d do it anyway. If you quit being a Suns fan now, that’s on you.

  • 34 Sunny // May 5, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Racial profiling my foot. The Hispanic groups are calling it racial profiling because most of the illegals in this country and Arizona are Mexicans.

    This bill does nothing more than support the current immigration law which our dysfunctional government refuses to enforce, and why is that? They want cheap labor, open borders, and don’t want Calderon to get upset.

    I cannot support anyone including politicians who support illegals and who are pushing for immigration reform with amnesty or pathway to citizensip. We already have 23 farm guest worker programs and we don’t need anymore.

    The monies spent at the Suns game will now be spent elsewhere. Forf the suns to do this, Mexico could use a basketball tea. So, move there.

    By the way, many of my friends are Hispanic and they are disgusted with their Hispanic group for supporting illegals. They came here legally and feel everyone else should do the same.

    Goodbye Suns

  • 35 Jabari // May 5, 2010 at 8:02 am

    @Mike Mees:
    The law does say that police must stop anybody they suspect to be illegal immigrants if they have “reasonable suspicion”.

    This is completely factually incorrect.

    The law states (paraphrased) that “if, during the course of a police interaction FOR OTHER REASONS, the detainee is suspected of being an illegal alien, then “. The person must already be in police contact for another reason (such as speeding, or similar).

    Side note to everyone: The mainstream media is completely useless at this point, Fox included. Find a couple of good, unbiased news sourced from the internet and use those exclusively.

    Side note to Mr. Schwartz: I come here for Suns stuff, not politics. Please don’t put posts like this up in the future – it’s not really relevant to the Suns/Spurs series, and just serves to inflame everyone and start arguments. Thanks. :)

  • 36 Andrew // May 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

    It isn’t worth diving into the debate about the law here, but I do have two points:

    1. Michael writes his article as if there is only one accepted position on the new law. There is no mention of the widespread support, both in AZ and outside of AZ, for the law. This is sloppy.

    2. I would really, really like my sports without the politics. However, the Suns waded into this so I can’t fault reporters for following the story.

    That being said, when reporters like JA Adande start telling people like Phil Jackson “the law usurps federal law,” which is COMPLETELY inaccurate, they’ve overstepped their bounds. It’s fine to report on it, but try reporting both sides.

  • 37 Tyler // May 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Jasper, what’s naive is thinking that you’ll need more “paperwork” then a drivers license to prove your citizenship fake or not. The fact that it’s easy to create a fake ID is not what this law has anything to do with.

    If you’ve read any other laws then you would know that this type of rhetoric is quite common. Just like how the federal government won’t allow states to have their own immigration laws, this is not a new law. The state won’t let its counties decide for itself. The federal law and what the border patrol are required to do is ask everyone for papers, whether they have been arrested or are walking near the border. Do you think that the police should have to go around and ask everyone everywhere or do you think that the police should ask just people they pull over or place under arrest.

    Heres a little unknown fact about what the police can do right now. They can pull over a vehicle that’s speeding, has default plates, the person has no drivers license, no identification whatsoever, not wearing a seat belt, talking on a cell phone and probably only 14 years old…. and all the police can do is write up a few tickets and the drivers on his way, he can’t report the driver to immigration because he can’t ask. He won’t pay the tickets because it’s cheaper to steal another license plate and can speed all he wants in the mean time.

    Living in Arizona I have been shot at, had my car parked and had two hit and runs, once where they found the guy and he was illegal, he still lives in Arizona. I broke my foot and had to wait in the emergency room for 2 hours while people with colds were treated first because they didn’t know how to explain how much pain they were in.

    It’s illegal to be in our country, there aren’t enough border patrol to guard the borders. It’d be stupid to question every person in the state. This is the only logical answer to illegal immigration while the federal government doesn’t do anything. There is too much violence, to much money being used by illegals (on average an illegal cost the Arizona government $1000, i.e. health, prison time… with ~450,000 illegals in Arizona thats pretty pricey). It may not be perfect, but its the correct step.

    Read this for more example of how bad it’s been:
    http://tucsoncitizen.com/the-cholla-jumps/2010/05/01/state-senator-sylvia-allen-responds-to-sb1070/

  • 38 s holst // May 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I long ago lost my zeal for NBA bb when it approached the status of pro wrestling and cannot be considered bb. The NBA has lost its compass. I do not question Sarver's right to do what he wants however there should be some oversight from the NBA. Sarver's antics have nothing to do with bb. The nail is driven in the coffin of the NBA.

  • 39 Jasper Buckleman // May 5, 2010 at 9:05 am

    “The law states (paraphrased) that “if, during the course of a police interaction FOR OTHER REASONS, the detainee is suspected of being an illegal alien, then “. The person must already be in police contact for another reason (such as speeding, or similar).”

    No, the law states that during any “lawful contact” if an officer “reasonably suspects” a person of being here illegally they are REQUIRED to ask for documentation. The problem is, “lawful contact” and “reasonable suspicion” aren’t defined anywhere. People can make assumptions about what they mean, but they are just that, assumptions. I know why the state government felt the need to take a dramatic step. This is an issue has been ignored by federal government for decades now. However, this law will do nothing but hurt the state and everyone that lives in AZ.

  • 40 Duncan // May 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I commend the Suns and the Spurs for showing that they don’t support Arizona’s racist, hateful politics. Wait til walking around in Arizona is like walking around in Nazi Germany or the USSR. Then see how you like the new immigration laws. I’m a proud American and I will NEVER live somewhere where I have to carry “papers” to prove I’m a legal immigrant. Only ethnocentric cowards would stand for that.

  • 41 Michael Schwartz // May 5, 2010 at 9:43 am

    @Jabari Political writing obviously isn’t the realm I’m most comfortable with either, and generally I do like to keep things strictly about basketball. However, as Andrew wrote after you in the comments, this is a story that couldn’t be ignored.

    @Andrew In hindsight I should have focused more attention on how this is pissing off many loyal Suns fans in favor of 1070. I’m going to try to catch up with Suns fans both for and against the law at the game tonight, and I can promise you that that report will take into consideration some of the disgust toward the Suns being shown by those in favor of 1070.

  • 42 Tyler // May 5, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I agree that those two phrases are vague and can be exploited in a wide variety of ways, but that happens in law today all the time. Would you rather hope that the police don’t manipulate the law or the illegals. The truth is that the illegals have been abusing our system for years and now when it finally comes into question about whether we can put trust into our police, people are up in arms… I’m putting my trust in the police to make the correct decisions and remove law abusing illegal aliens from our country.

  • 43 Dave // May 5, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I’m seriously disappointed to see so many commenters say they are “no longer Suns fans” as a result of this. I understand the sentiment that one should keep their sports and their politics separate, for the exact intent of not alienating people who feel differently. At the same time, is this really a surprise that the Suns players might be opposed to this law? If it is, it shouldn’t be.

    First of all, many of the Suns players are either from foreign countries themselves, or are first generation here in the US. (Barbosa, Dragic, Nash, etc.). In addition to that, many of them are otherwise tied to Latino communities (Hint: Nash’s wife name is Alejandra Amarilla Nash). There are guys who have played in D-Leagues, in Europe and have traveled all over the world and have probably spent a good deal of time as foreigners themselves, so they might have a unique perspective.

    No one disagrees that illegal immigration is a major problem that needs to be dealt with. The trouble with the law is the ambiguity of its language. Specifically, what documents qualify as acceptable immigration documents? Then, what constitutes “reasonable suspicion”? Adande wrote earlier that “If Americans are regularly stopped and asked to prove they’re American, then America feels less like America.” This is especially the case if those Americans that are asked to prove themselves just so happen to all be of a particular ethnic background.

    At the end of the day, I would like to see people respect each other’s differing political views and not let those get in the way of lifelong sports loyalties.

  • 44 Tyler // May 5, 2010 at 10:54 am

    @Duncan, where do you live because if its in the United States you already have to carry around “papers.” Do you goto the airport without ID, drive without ID. Guess that means you’re an ethnocentric coward.

  • 45 Kyle Fleeger // May 5, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Today, on the cover of ESPN J.A. Adande wrote an article about the political statement the Suns are making in tonight’s game. Cinco De Mayo is tonight, and that would probably reason enough to dawn these jerseys. However, that’s not the reason. The Suns have announced that they are wearing the jersey to support the Latino community during trying times. I don’t think trying times is referring to gas prices. It’s referring to the Law Arizona Governor Jan Brewer just signed into law making identification of citizenship necessary at all traffic stops where there is “reasonable suspicion”. This would all be shocking if we hadn’t already seen Arizona’s prejudice threaten major sporting events in the state. The Super Bowl was famously nearly taken away from Arizona until they met the condition to recognize MLK Day…

    As a high school debate coach for a very long time, I worked with MANY illegal citizens who were excellent students and their families as cohesive, and patriotic as any Mexi-Hater I have ever met. So let’s leave those arguments at the door.

    So, I thought it would be nice to break down the argument’s being made around pro-sports against the new Arizona immigration law. Baseball is threatening to revoke the All-Star game, major athletes around the country have made statements and Owners have become irate… well some of the owners. I am sure that if you ask the Owner of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Art Moreno, one of the richest Latinos in the United States, he is probably against the Arizona public on this one. Ask Cindy McCain, the part owner of the Diamondbacks and wife of Arizona Senator John McCain, and you’ll likely get a different answer.

    So here is how the arguments breakdown as I see them

    A) See No Evil… Remember No Evil?

    Yes, All of you shocked Arizonans need to remember we sell legal correctness and error on the side of panic OR prejudice. The Super Bowl makes Arizona’s businesses significant money. So does any major national event. The state of Arizona ineptly passed a law recognizing NOT “Martin Luther King Day” but “Civil Rights Day”. This refusal could signify a lot of things, but in reality, it shows just how RED Arizona is, and just how inactive its younger population is. In the most recent presidential election, Arizona was a hotbed for political argument, the state ended up almost going to Obama vs. AN ARIZONA SENATOR! The youth was the difference, but as someone who is 25 and interacts with students on a daily basis, I can tell you, most young people didn’t know this law was even on the Ballot.

    Where is your FIRE young Arizonans? Where is your anger? We need to remember that there is NOTHING protecting us from law enforcement except more law enforcement… At which point, how long can you trust the police? Its only a matter of time until Sherrif Joe has “not instructed” his deputies to use “Profiling Tactics” at his random DUI checkpoints, or can use the VAGUE definition of “Reasonable Suspicion” to mean, 100 percent enforcement of all meaningless misdemeanors as a checkpoint for citizenship.

    Sure, technically misdemeanors are crimes too, but when was the last time you got asked to see I.D. while jaywalking?

    B) This gives incentive for police to start pulling people over for things that they NEVER really pull people over for. Technically, the driver is committing a minor traffic violation, but the police are instructed to use discretion from pulling people over unless they also could appear drunk or erratic.

    How many times have you been trailing a friend, or other car by less than 3 car lengths? I bet its a lot. Now how many times have you been pulled over for that action? How many people get pulled over for changing lanes without signaling? Basically none, UNLESS also suspected of SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS.

    Being Latino, is NOT more serious than Driving Drunk… I guess technically that’s my opinion… Let’s see if statistics support my claim?

    Stats:

    In Arizona in 2008

    Being Latino killed: ZERO people.

    Driving Drunk: 937 people

    Some people will try and make an argument about how Illegal Immigrants commit more crime.

    My Answer: DUUUUHHHHHHHH! They are committing a crime JUST BEING HERE. The question is, why is it that states with primarily MEXICAN immigrants (also states where law enforcement on these groups is RIGOROUS) are presenting the statistics? Is it just that all the illegal immigrants on the east coast don’t like crime as much? Should I believe Cubans are naturally more peaceful than Mexicans or Japanese immigrants? The reason why crime rates in states with large numbers of illegal immigrants FROM MEXICO exist is because the law enforcement agencies have protocol standards and laws to deliberately target these people. If 50% of the budget is being used to target Mexicans and the other 50% is for EVERYONE else. Don’t we expect a larger number of arrests of Mexicans? I do.

    B) Part of the argument in favor of the law is that it will reduce the populations in our prisons. The Problem to is that Arizona law enforcement has also sought to reduce Drunk driving penalties and checkpoints because OUR JAILS ARE TOO FULL. So instead, let’s imprison thousands of Illegal Immigrants for being Immigrants, OR Marijuana users for being so “chill” that they must be dangerous. The argument that we will deport only works in so far as they have been processed through our legal system… They are in jail while this happens.

    Look, Ultimately, I think it’s excellent that teams and owners with no monetary incentive are speaking up, but in reality, it will be up to us as individuals to refuse laws to be passed that threaten our neighbor. I have never once based my judgement on a person by where they were born. They did not choose that. I do not ever blame someone for trying to save their families lives. Jail and deportation won’t deter people from leaving deadly and destitute situations. It will merely delay, and force repetition of the same act over and over and over.

    If my family is starving in a gang-run Mexican city, there isn’t a wall, law, human or government capable of stopping me from crossing the border. There is a reason people die in the desert trying to get here, and its not because they want to steal your job, it’s because they want to feed their family or make sure their kids lived to 12, with education and opportunity for themselves.

    This is an issue that you probably won’t be changing your mind on by reading an article, but hopefully at some point, once again the monetary pressure on Arizona lawmakers will prevail. I know that MONEY seems to be the only thing driving fair politics in Arizona.

    I am embarrassed for my state, worried about my peers, and proud of the people who will fight and argue to repeal this law… I like it even more than it’s coming from my favorite sports team.

    Robert Sarver, I like the fire, get pissed about this law, but more importantly, make sure you get the fans fired up tonight.

    Free Drinks to all Latinos!!!!

  • 46 Tyler // May 5, 2010 at 11:42 am

    @Kyle, do you think we can afford to let all immigrants from Mexico into this country. You offer a good argument as to why this law doesn’t work, but do you understand the recourse of allowing illegal aliens into our country consistently? As a school teacher in Arizona do you understand that your salary will wither? Iowan teachers as an example make twice the salary as teachers in Arizona and yet no one vacations in Iowa and the cost of living is about half. What about all the people that come to the United States legally? What you really need to ask yourself is what would work in this laws place, because it’s pretty obvious whats happening now is not.

  • 47 Jasper Buckleman // May 5, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Molenir,
    That includes civil and local ordinances. Say my name is Garcia and I’m listening to music in my backyard with my kids and the neighbor decides it’s too loud. Neighbors call the cops, cops show up, see my brown skin, and start asking about my status in the country. Now, if the same situation occurred, but my name is Mueller, do you think anyone is going to question my status in the country? Of course not. I’m not outspoken about this law because I’m pro illegal immigrant. This law will do nothing to curb illegal immigration, so I couldn’t care less about that potential aspect. I’m outspoken about this bill because it’s hard enough being a minority in this country while getting pulled over for ridiculous things like “weaving within the lane,” and we don’t need another target on our backs. This isn’t fair for the legal minorities to be questioned routinely and isn’t fair to the police officers that are being forced to enforce this, or risk penalty.

  • 48 King Fahd // May 5, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Wowww..It looks like Sarver has made a HUGE impact, regardless of whether you support the bill, or are against it. I personally feel that in being of race of minority, it allows more ignorant people to use this law to harass minorities. Remember, this law highlights “have the right to be questioned if reported suspicion”.

    After reading many comments (above), and for those who feel “THIS IS THE RULE OF LAW, SO JUST OBEY IT”, would you say when the pilgrams stole the land from the Native Americans, Was that right? Obviously, ignorant people’s mentality serves them in the mind-frame of the so-called “Greater Good”!!

    I’ll end this with this quote: Watch tonight’s game as the Underdog (in this case, Phoenix Suns) defeat the Big Dogs (San Antonio Spurs). Much respect to Coach Popovich for supporting the Suns’ decision.

  • 49 R. Williams // May 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    The Phoenix Suns should be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES!! SHAME ON THEM!!! I’m sure they simply want to keep ticket sales up and stop the picketing at their games!!! I’m sure the Southern Arizona farmers whose homes have been burglerized, their fences distroyed, their livesstock released, the property destroyed and their family members KILLED along with the families of the 3 young girls who were raped by an illegal alien disagree with you. But then again, IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU!!!!

  • 50 GARY HAMMONDS // May 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I 'VE GOT ONE FOR THE PHOENIX SUNS BASKETBALL TEAM SEEING HOW THEY THINK THIS LAW IS WRONG : HOW ABOUT THEY WEAR A JERSEY FOR THE LATE " ROBERT KRENTZ " OF DOUGLAS , ARIZONA KILLED ON HIS 35,000 ACRE RANCH BY AN ILLEGAL ALIEN HE WAS TRYING TO HELP ! WAKE UP AMERICA THIS IS NOT ABOUT MEXICAN CITIZENS , THIS IS ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION & UP HOLDING OUR LAWS TO PROTECT US ALL . THANK YOU GARY

  • 51 Bdiddy // May 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    This could be the secret reason Sarver wanted to make his political statement:

    http://americancomedynetwork.com/video.html?bit_i

    And just for fun…

    http://americancomedynetwork.com/animation.html?b

  • 52 race card // May 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Truth: The Suns (including Steve Nash, the Canadian) do not care about the rights of illegal aliens.

    they only want to prevent any potential loss of income that might result in hispanics not buying tickets to their games.

  • 53 CornFlakes // May 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I’m a diehard Suns fan, and while I think Suns management made a boneheaded move here with the “Los Suns” jerseys, I’m not gonna stop being a fan. I still want them to win this series and eventually win a championship.

    Still, basketball is NOT the venue to forward someone’s political agenda. I don’t care if they were doing something in SUPPORT of the bill; they need to learn to keep politics out of the game. I don’t watch the Suns for political commentary or statements; I watch to see them play some freaking basketball. If they want to speak up about the law, do it OFF THE COURT.

    And to the people wasting their breath arguing here over the merits of the law itself: GROW UP. This is a Phoenix Suns BLOG talking about the Suns decision to wear the “Los Suns” jerseys. Don’t derail the article & comments by inserting your own biased takes on the law. Stick to the Suns, and not the politics!!!

  • 54 Rich // May 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Tony (post 18) linking the ICE website or an others without an article is pretty useless. But how about this to back up the crime stats here in AZ:

    http://www.mcaodocuments.com/press/20081002_a-whitepaper.pdf

    Those are hard numbers for you straight from our County Attorney’s office. Illegals have elevated crime rates across the board. I know you won’t bother to read it all so just focus in on the Executive Summary on page 2.

    As far as the jobs are concerned, are you calling AZCentral a blog??? It’s a news agency. Those audits were initiated by ICE. Or are you claiming that NPR News and Pew research (the study they cited) are anti-immigrant. If anything they are wide left on most issues including this one.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5250150

    http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2010/04/23/20100423arizona-illegal-workforce-audit.html

    You claim they don’t take good jobs. Well try reading here:

    http://www.abc15.com/content/news/phoenixmetro/central/story/MSCO-Deputies-raid-Phoenix-business-make-44/6ijeFwQivkGjUDfj99i6Mg.cspx

    Or are you going to assume that they were all janitors as well?

  • 55 Andrew // May 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks for the response, Michael. I appreciate the candor. Keep up the good work.

    And, of course…

    GO SUNS!!! 2-0 BABY!!!

  • 56 Los Suns make political statement, still score victory| Valley of the Suns // May 6, 2010 at 3:21 am

    [...] Suns made their statement on Tuesday when owner Robert Sarver criticized the immigration law and then Suns players piled on [...]

  • 57 Janet G // May 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I have been a fan since we moved here in 1970. Now I am to disgusted with these millionaires riding around in their Escalades and feeling sorry for lawbreakers!!! We pay loads of taxes and support these illegals with FREE education, FREE medical care, FREE welfare and Social Security (which they don't pay into). Come on you guys, get a clue about the real world. Sarver and Kerr, you have just shot yourselves in the foot. BIG MISTAKE!!!!!

  • 58 The Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs square off in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals| Valley of the Suns // May 9, 2010 at 12:32 am

    [...] a night that will be charged by the Suns’ political statement of wearing “Los Suns” on their jerseys, the Suns have a chance to make the Spurs play [...]

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