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Suns will wear "Los Suns" Jerseys as part of Arizona immigration bill protest

May 4, 2010, 5:18 PM EDT

This took some real cajones.

The controversial immigration bill (SB 1070) just signed into law in Arizona — which allows police making a “legal contact” to demand citizenship papers and makes it illegal not to have them on you — is popular with the majority of voters in the state. Those people are the Suns fan base, the people who fill the US Airways Center, and will again Wednesday night.

And they will see a home team wearing their “Los Suns” jerseys, part of a protest of the bill that included bold statements from several players and the team owner in opposition to it. A protest that was voted on and approved in the Suns locker room and by management will take place on Cinco do Mayo.

The politically active Steve Nash spoke out against the law, as Bright Side of the Sun reported.

“I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment to our society and our civil liberties and I think it is very important for us to stand up for things we believe in,” Nash said of the bill. “I think the law obviously can target opportunities for racial profiling. Things we don’t want to see and don’t need to see in 2010.”

Team owner Robert Sarver added his voice, via the Arizona Republic:

“The frustration with the federal government’s failure to deal with the issue of illegal immigration resulted in passage of a flawed state law,” Sarver said in a statement released by the Suns on Tuesday morning. “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.”

“I looked around our plane and looked at our players and the diversity in our organization,” Sarver said. “I thought we need to go on record that we honor our diversity in our team, in the NBA and we need to show support for that. As for the political part of that, that’s my statement.”

Immigration is a complex issue, one where economic and trade policies of many nations impact local economies and force people to migrate to find economic safety and a better way of life. It has been that way since the first cities were formed. And almost since that time, laws have been put up to stop this immigration. Like so many things in our nation, this is a complex problem with politicians trying to implement simplistic answers and often failing to do even that.

But whatever you think of the new law, you have to admit it takes some real balls for the Suns to make this statement in defiance of their fan base. Or cajones, if you prefer. Although, shouldn’t the jerseys really read, “Los Sols?”

696 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Jill - May 4, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Hey CCgolfer,You better hurry up. I heard that theres a big line of illegals waitting on you and your truck just over the border.

  2. BrooklynBoyKP - May 4, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Not to mention this law will do almost nothing in stopping illegals from coming to the country

  3. Jon - May 4, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    I think it’s probably helpful for those who are angry with the Suns organization to be aware that the statement made implies that the underlying issue of illegal immigration isn’t the central issue here; it’s the knee-jerk response that’s the problem.
    I think we can all agree that the immigration issue needs a proper solution. I would hope that upon thoughtful consideration, most folks would realize that this law isn’t it.
    Two quotes:
    “The man who would choose security over freedom deserves neither.” – Thomas Jefferson
    “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.” – Robert Sarver, Suns owner

  4. Anonymous - May 4, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Still making excuses for B.O. – it’s all Bush’s fault?
    When do Democrats and B.O. start taking responsibility for their
    own actions?
    Going on 41 months of Democrats controlling both the House, the Senate and the Nation’s purse strings.
    One full year of a “Super Majority”.
    Sixteen months of “The One” in office.
    What doe the country get in return – EXCUSES!
    Now we have the Suns advocating and promoting fraudulent use of SSN’s, breaking our countrie’s laws and the exploitation of illegal labor practices.
    Stand tall Sun players, you have your millions so now you think you can tell this great country to go to hell.

  5. Brian in CA - May 4, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Way to go NBA….Suns…..and all the oh poor poor illegals in the country. No wonder I haven’t watched the NBA for years. Let’s all support the law breaking people sho come to this country illegally. Bravo NBA….Bravo Suns….what a bunch of pathetic dolts. Heaven forbid you should actually carry proper ID on you when you are here in the country. Every other country in the world demands it….but so many seem to think that laws don’t apply to mexicans. I mean they are pretty much a corrupt people anyway but yeah, let’s just let them bring over their drugs, cartels, gang members, murdering thugs and all the rest of their law breaking society. F ‘em all.

  6. donw - May 4, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    The law mirrors the Federal Law which is not being enforced. That is why the Feds are dragging their feet in their opposition.
    Feds cannot sue because they would be suing against their own law which they took an oath to uphold.
    Nice to see that you advocate the exploitation of illegal immigrants for cheap labor, though.
    You are just another “stand-up” liberal, aren’t you?

  7. Steve - May 4, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    @ BrooklynBoyKP – I don’t complain about much, but a user said Bush was in for 8 years and did nothing. I was simply correcting the record. Wasting money was not my point!
    I will bet any amount of Money that this law is UPHELD, any court, any time.
    The only reason the Team is doing this is for $$$$….period.
    Texas is next!

  8. Suns fan - May 4, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    The tragic fact of SB 1070 is that on its face it appears to take a “tough” stand against our lax border and to stop all the criminals from coming into our State. We already have a state criminal code to deal with felons. And border security (like it or not) is within the exclusive purview of the federal government. What the law actually will do is something altogether different — target the defenseless, the poor, the politically impotent. Throughout the history of the world, there has always been a class struggle of the “haves” versus the “have nots”. When the “have nots” get too noisy, the “haves” shut them down. What are we really concerned about with illegals? That they might take jobs away from “real” Americans? As has been noted, the jobs being done by illegals are jobs Americans didn’t want in the first place — field laborers, maids in hotels, restaurant workers, car wash workers, construction workers, janitors, etc., etc. Do you really think Americans are going to rush in and eagerly grab those jobs when all the illegals leave Arizona for other states? I don’t think so. What is the loss of the Hispanic work force going to do the economy of Arizona? Sadly, the law is horribly short sighted. Say what you want about boycotts — like we don’t care or don’t you dare tell us what to do — they absolutely will have a huge negative economic impact on our state. Conventions, interstate contracts, sporting events, any commerce that deals with other states or countries (which includes about everything) will be seriously harmed by this ill-conceived law. We can only hope the courts step in quickly and declare the law to be unconstitutional on its face. Then let’s tackle the issues without the not so subtle racism that permeates this horrible law in its current state.

  9. jerry - May 4, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    The police cannot stop on the street without probable cause! If you are going to comment on something at least read what the law says. US citizens are not required to carry green cards because green cards are for LEGAL immigrants which by federal law are required to have and produce if asked by the police. Also the law says that a drivers license is an acceptable form of proof of being here legally. As a white person, if I get pulled over and cannot give the cop a drivers license I would be breaking the law!

  10. Anonymous - May 4, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Try living in AZ or here in CA and having to deal with all the illegals you idiot NY’er. Yeah, I’m a racist because I believe that federal laws concerning illegal aliens should actually be enforced. Keep living in your rose colored world Brooklyn. Reagan by the way was a hell of a leader…….he was responsible for giving millions here illegally amnesty. Great leader huh?….HAHAHAHA…….

  11. Louis58 - May 4, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    To all you True Americans, Keep Fighting the good Fight! Just to let everyone of you know, MY GREAT GRANDPARENTS MIGRATED HERE LEGALLY!! I guess you could say they were AMERICAN FRUIT PICKERS!!
    Yes I am passionate about AMERICAN VALUES AND TRIDITION THAT`S WHY WORK FOR AN AMERICAN COMPANY PRODUCING THE BEST AMERICAN WARFIGHTERS FOR OUR AMERICAN MILITARY!! Now it`s PROUD AMERICAN HISPANIC UNION WORKER!! WORD!!

  12. SBWitmer - May 4, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    This is nothing more than a racist bill/law, is unconstitutional, and is aimed at being political theater. To address any legitimate concerns AZ residents have, they’re politicians would have put more security on the border, not create a bill that the police on the street don’t even want to enforce due to its racist/profiling verbage. I’m really starting to wonder about the voting AZ demographic, first voting down MLK holiday and now this. Next thing you’ll tell me, they’re predominately older and white.
    Anyway, the Suns are a privately owned sports team, if they wish to take this stand, i applaud their bravery, especially since they will lose all the fair weather fans commenting on this piece.

  13. Anonymous - May 4, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Where have you been djohnson?
    Fourty-one months of Liberal Democrats controlling both the House and the Senate.
    One full year of a helpless “Super majority”.
    Going on seventeen months of “The One” in office.
    When are you Liberals going to stand up and take responsibility?
    Just Curious!

  14. Brian in CA - May 4, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Hate to tell you SBWitmer……the AZ law has actually been on the books since the early 1960’s. Yeah I know you probably didn’t look in to any facts about the law just like the majority of those who are so dead set against it. It’s actually a federal offense to be in this country illegally. Yeah I know once again you probably didn’t look in to any real facts about the laws here in this country. So why don’t you just stop embarrassing yourself and go watch American Idol.

  15. Brian in CA - May 4, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Where have you been Anonymous? By the way….why are you afraid to have your ID posted? Maybe you are here illegally??? Anyway, obviously you are a fair and balanced Republican…..HAHAHAHAHAHA……sorry……and as a Republican you as they all do have selective memory…..2008: 700,000 jobs being lost a month….Bush Administration,
    2003: Invasion of Iraq based on lies and completely false information…..Bush Administration, 2001: Intel about Al Qaeda using air craft for flying in to buildings in the U.S., nothing done about it…..Bush Administration, 2007-2008: Economy starts failing and brings country near depression not seen since 1930’s…..Bush Administration…….need I say more??

  16. SBWitmer - May 4, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Brian .. thank you for showing me the error of my ways. The politicians of AZ passed exact same legislation pasted decades earlier?? Now that makes a lot of sense. Maybe your the spouting idiot. Why would they pass the exact same laws .. again?!? No, what this legislation encourages, in writing, is racial profiling. Many of the police on the street want nothing to do with it, its just politicians playing to the lowest common denominator. So Brian, before typing more nonsense, think twice and btw, i don’t watch tv, i read .. you should give it a shot, you may learn something.

  17. Don - May 4, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Nobody in the arena will know this is a protest unless they read this blog post first. Why use what is a normal practice around the NBA as a protest? That’s just weak.

  18. Brian in CA - May 4, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    The new AZ law enforces what the federal govt. refuses to enforce. Deal with it moron…..you obviously are either an illegal yourself or you just love a lawless country. Hey I have an idea….why don’t you go live in Mexico…..oh wait…..you couldn’t because their laws against illegals is so damn strict you would end up in prison for a few years. Please just go someplace….just not here in the U.S. You are pathetic. As like many others you are completely wrong about the law. It does NOT involve racial profiling. You say you read? Try reading the damn law you moron. It says simply and very easy to read and understand which I know will help you big time……the only time a police officer can ask about your legal status is if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or are suspected of criminal activity. Yes it’s simple but seems to be very hard for you to get through your thick, illegal alien loving head.
    And by the way, I have 3 bookshelves full of books so if you need help with the big words just let me know…..and no Cat in the Hat does not count as a book you have read.

  19. Paul - May 4, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Like any of the Republican far white is a fan of the NBA anyhow….

  20. Eric Caballero - May 4, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    You are correct to demand we as a nation enforce border security, but either your ignorance or your anger has gotten the better part of you. You must realized that when the opportunity to decide whether to ask for papers please, that the empirical validity dictates that there will be many instances where racial profiling will be used. oh, but you must be one of those pretty light skinned Chicanos, not the brown ones. Therefore you shouldn’t be worried about it. My degrees put aside, I would not walk with papers to make this point.
    You, my friend, would not take the back breaking jobs these people do. Yes reform immigration, but at what cost. With this, would you be willing to pay 10 $ a tomato? $ 15 dollars a cucumber? These people get paid less than minimum wage, do you really understand what this would do this economy? Our farmers would go broke, and central america would own whatever assets China doesn’t own.
    Moreover to the point, the country now see what a bunch of hippo critical state this is. Would you like some tea? No thank you.

  21. AZVET - May 4, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    I agree with you Louis58. I don’t pay top dollar to watch a protest, I pay to watch athletes play a game. If they want to protest, let them do it on their own time. How ridiculous. I won’t be watching!

  22. Wetwilly - May 4, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    I will NOT watch the game! IF I had tickets to the game, I’d throw them away!

  23. JW - May 5, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    So the millionaire Suns players decided to support their owners political point of view and try to secure their pay checks. Just another example of how the NBA owners continue to show contempt for the NBA commissioner and for what used to be the SPORT of basketball.

  24. Mel - May 5, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    typical responses from the right wing brain washed idiots. Just because someone has an opinion other than what is said on Fox news, they are chastized and called “not real americans”.. Freedom of speech is what america is all about, and you fools should get used to it. Get your heads out of Glen Becks ass and see what is really going on. Try thinking for yourselves for a change.. I was never a Suns fan, but I just became one.. You racist right wingers probably watch the games and use the N word while drinking your cheap beer and spitting tobacco on the floor anyway.

  25. Not Hispanic - May 5, 2010 at 1:16 AM

    Lets just be honest…we have no idea who is illegal and who is not. So if you get stopped, show your stupid green card and move on. You live close to Mexico and they want to get rid of all the illegal immigrants. That is not a crime, so good for the state to figure this out. If you are a legal immirgrant thats fine but just realize you once weren’t a legal immigrant a supposed worked hard to get your green card. So shut up, live by the law and shut up. Again if your stopped you shouldnt have a problem if your legal.
    and we are better. This is America, if we butcher spanish who cares, its AMERICA not Mexico. When we can’t understand you in the store when we buy food we don’t all complain. So quit this whole your butchering our langauage. IF i move to Mexico and butcher it then get mad. This is America, English is what it is, i dont need to know your language perfect to survive…give it a break…

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