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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. Rocket_FAN - May 5, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    could you leave the Hispanic part out???
    you’re making the rest of us look ignorant…
    Thank you

  2. Sonja G - May 5, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Everyone should boycott the suns games, they are not Americans. Illegals go home, they are nothing but a drain on the economy and healthcare. They have ruined California due to the gangs and crime rate increasing. The jobs have moved south of the Border, why are they still coming here. I will tell you, only the upper class get jobs at the companys that moved down there and the ignorate ones with no education and violent tendencies come here. Put up a Border, razor wire and armed guards, shoot if they try to come over. Its got to be stopped, we can no longer support these illegals coming over here.

  3. John Hemmers - May 5, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    It is unfortunate that people such as yourself hide the truth. why do you not face the truth.By 2015 you will be a brown state. It is easy to prosecute all people of color when you make everyone of them out to be criminals. Does my daughter or my grandchildren have to prove that they are citizens because they are half native american and half Italian and Dutch? If I remember correctly we do have a right to move freely no matter the color of our skin. This is the year 2010 not 1848.

  4. Anonymous - May 5, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Doughnut,
    The constitution is for AMERICANS!!! It is not for criminals who enter this country illegally!! If you are an American or legal immigant then what is to worry? I show my license when I get pulled over, not because the police asks me to but because its the law and I don’t fell harassed for doing so.

  5. David - May 5, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    The issue isn’t immigrants “doing the dirty work”. It’s ILLEGAL immigration. Knock on my front door, don’t climb in my back window.

  6. Anonymous - May 5, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Thats right, all the tax paying citizens who are trying to inforce the laws , are all being vitumized and no one cares . Illegal means you broke the law and you should pay. If you cant do the time, not do the crime.
    I was a big Suns fan. Count me out. Give my season ticket to an Illegal immigrant, Im sure Obama will pay for it.

  7. epattton - May 5, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Try something novel in your thoughts for a moment. Imagine, if you will, that about 12 million Americans who can’t find a way to support their ever enlarging families decide to all head down to Mexico by whatever means possible ignoring all the laws of the country we have decided is the answer to our prayers. I can just imagine the welcome they would receive. There would not be any of this liberal drum beating stating that these poor Americans are welcome since they will do jobs that we won’t and implore a movement to just declare an amnesty to our illegal presence. Can’t imagine the thought, can you?
    As a Texan who has studied much history, we have been engaged in some type of struggle, military, economic or otherwise, with Mexico since the Americans entered present day Texas territory coinciding with Mexican independence from Spain. There has now surfaced a method for Mexican supremacy in this long struggle. They have decided that laws are for others and they will ignore them while pleading to humanity that they have right (?) to be illegally in America. They will breed their way into political control. I don’t think the states which are not border states, and therefore are affected a bit less than the border states, have a good grasp of problems facing us all.
    As for the Phoenix suns, I would be happy to call then the Mexico City Suns by next season.

  8. Anonymous - May 5, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Dugout,
    How can a law be unconstitutional whan it’s already a federal law!!!

  9. Scoobner - May 5, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    I say we should build a wall all the way around the country to maintain a rich, white, and free society. But to remain true to this definition of “American” we will have to give up all foreign derived products, ideas, and influences. Wow — now we’re native americans — cool!

  10. Christy - May 5, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    If the “browns” are legal fine. No one is saying “brown people”, love your terms by the way, are criminals, unless they are here ILLEGALLY. Wake up and read the whole law and the whole story. If you are walking down the street eating ice cream with your half Dutch relatives fine. If you are fleeing a bank robbery that you and your relatives perpetrated, then yes WORRY. There is a big difference and you people need to quit taking bits and pieces of news and shaping it into some “cause” you have defend.

  11. kad - May 5, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    I agree too, They sure like the American dollar. It’s an insult to the people of their state. I would never support that team again.
    I hope the area is full of illegal immigrants and they are all picked up by Sheriff Joe as they leave……..

  12. Jaime R. - May 5, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Hey “Proud Hispanic”…I too am a Latino, but I sure as heck do not want to be stopped and asked for my PROOF that I belong in this country simple because of my skin color. What about our northern border, how many illegal “LIGHT SKIN” job takers are coming from there???

  13. AN - May 5, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Nice try. People won’t just accept $10 tomatoes unless there are no other alternatives. If the farmworker payscale got raised to pay legal U.S. workers, what would actually happen is that all the tomatoes would come from China, and U.S. tomato farmers would go out of business (or shift to much less profitable crops and struggle along). Maybe you missed that bit in your microeconomics class, but you can’t just keep raising prices in a competitive market unless *all* your competitors do the same.
    Of course, you could just ban all the affordable imports that compete with U.S. businesses. This would protect less-competitive U.S. businesses and allow higher wages, but it would kill export-oriented businesses (by definition, the most competitive businesses we have) when other countries retaliated, cause inflation (pretty obvious: price increases = inflation), and shrink the economy (by de-integrating it from the global economy). Pretty sure they cover this in macroeconomics.
    There’s really no way around the fact that illegal immigrants are a crucial enough part of the economy that they would be difficult to remove rapidly without doing a whole lot of collateral damage to an already-struggling economy. Using a phased approach, it would work best in conjunction with some kind of legal guest-worker program (like the one President Bush proposed), but I don’t imagine that will appease the send-them-all-home crowd in the slightest.

  14. JR - May 5, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    No one should be in the U.S. Illegally. Would you travel to another country without your passport? Only if you were a fool. The difference here is that most all of us legal americans want to be able to come back after traveling abroad. If I were mexican I would be beating down the door of my government officials to fix my own country. If the Illegal aliens really wanted to make life better for their children and their childrens children they would take the initiative to make their own country a better place to live instead of bleeding the US tax payers.

  15. Anonymous - May 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    You don’t have to be brown to be profiled. All you people who think you are more likely to be profiled because of your color are nuts. There are many other reasons to suspect someone than color. Do a little research and you will find that color is only a tiny part of the profiling process.

  16. Limbonehead - May 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Though it’s not apparent from some of the commenters on this blog, not all U.S. residents are as idiotic as Chad Johnson.

  17. El Gringo Darrell - May 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Que Lastima… a Proud HISPANIC? Really? I so prefer my wife’s expression… She proudly proclaims that she is NOBODY’s PANIC… She’s Chicana! (Look up the real definition, it’ll surprise you)
    This law is designed to do only one thing, require police to challenge the right of an individual to breathe Arizonan air on the basis of skin color, accent, and clothing (often used for profiling purposes).
    Under no circumstance should I, a white, green-eyed male with no apparent accent, be challenged, but my wife, a dark-skinned Chicana born in Indio California, to parents who emmigrated from Mexico, can be required to proved she has the right to Breathe Arizona air?
    Seriously Luis, how can you support this law? How can any person?
    Racism is insipid. It seeps into our souls through cracks we have created out of anger and fear.
    And for you relgious minded types out there, can any of you name a religious icon or prophet who wouldn’t have been victimized under this law? Christ (from Israel/Palastine)? Confuscious? Sidartha?
    Remember, a democracy is and must be a system of government which protects the rights of a minority against the domination of the majority, lest it become Apartheid.
    And yes… I do vote to Boycott Arizona until this changes!

  18. Deborah - May 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    That is so awesome, I love the Phoenix SUNS!!!

  19. Don't be ignorant .... focus on the real problem(s) - May 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Excellent comment.
    I’m a proud Hispanic born in Colombia… my mother is from the US (Indiana, and her parents were from Poland and Scotland), and my father is from Chile (his parents were from Spain).
    That being said, I am sure that although I am an educated, taxpaying, law abiding, charity giving citizen – I could be asked for “my papers” just because I have “brown” skin and look “Mexican” (a great country with great people).
    Inaction by our Federal Government – you bet (a real problem.
    Arizona Government = Ignorant (this will be a fact in the history books).
    Who should we target next – All “Germans” for creating the Arian movement and skin heads (you could profile them when they eat bratwurst!)? Or just “whites” because they might be Germens, or maybe Bald people because they might be skin heads? Do skin heads have papers? How about “blacks” because they are wearing a team jersey and might be from a gang…. Papers? Italian and Russians … I’ve heard they have very effective crime syndicates…Papers?
    Racism = real problem
    Wow.
    Go Suns!
    (I don’t even care what color you are or if you have Papers (Nash, Dragic, Leandro – be careful)

  20. lccomo - May 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Basketball players intelligent (some are)? Are you kidding me… mixing sports and politics is out of line. May as well throw in religion as well… only Catholics can attend the games… no Jews, Muslims, Lutherans, or any other religion allowed because Mexican illegals are of one religion… that would be the icing on the cake.
    Check out sports-law.blogspot to see how many basketball players have been arrested for DUI. assault, rape, failure to pay child support, battery of a woman, etc. And we should look up to the Suns as being leaders in the community… illegal aliens are just that, illegal.
    Immigrants who come to America legally and assimilate by obeying “our” laws to become an American should be treated as equals with zero discrimination against an immigrant because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
    I’m tired of African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, or any other (country of origin)-Americans. Either you are a law abiding American or you are jailed or deported… LOS SUNS — what a sad joke.

  21. Anonymous - May 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Most of you people on this board have no clue what the new bill is, it specifically states that stereotyping is forbidden and you have to be doing something against the law before the police can even question you about your immigration status. So you illegals can still go sheck your mail, go shopping, etc. without harrassment, unless you are doing something you shouldn’t be. I seriously doubt just because your skin is brown you are going to get harrassed, there are probably more brown skins in AZ than white.

  22. Jim - May 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    I can tell from the grammar in your response that you probably weren’t a very good student in school, and it shows in your citizenship quotient as an adult. When you drive a car, you are required to carry your driver’s license on your person as a condition of operating a vehicle on a highway. If you are stopped for speeding or any other infraction, you are required to produce that license, a vehicle registration and a certificate of insurance. These are the “papers” the law speaks of. We are ALL required to have these. Until this law passed, I never heard anyone whine about that provision of the motor vehicle law. They are not talking about everyone carrying a birth certificate or passport with them. However, Federal law does require legal aliens to carry on their persons at all times their green card. An alien resident of this country must show that to law enforcement officers at any time requested, in addition to driver’s license, etc. when stopped for a motor vehicle infraction. So far I don’t see anything worth whining about, unless you are not here legally, and do not possess the required papers.

  23. kad - May 5, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Chris, in a country that is as broke as we are, millions of people are jobless, you support a group of millionaires spending money to change jerseys for ” a cause”????? Instead of that they should have offered free seats to the game for anyone who presented without a green card……Try goining to Canada, sneaking in, and not having papers , see how long it takes to be put in jail. Only in America do the criminals have more “civil rights” than the citizens …
    we have laws… love it or leave it… don’t let the red white and blue door hit you in the CULO……………

  24. Phillip Fisher - May 5, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    All of a sudden a person is a “Idiot” when they don’t agree with you-Suns Seattle is looking for a great team, that person who said the Latinos do the work nobody else will do is right-everytime I see a Burger Place they always have a help wanted sign up-don’t see any of our white Americans applying or Field Workers here in Oregon would know what to do with out the Latino Workers or the
    Holtel Motels to-Go Suns.

  25. Jorge - May 5, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    The law does not say Police can just stop people because of thier color.
    The Law specifically says while investigating other crimes the police can investigate immgration status.
    Would be nice if you knew what was in the law before you spoke out against it.
    Its been a FEDERAL LAW since that 1940′s that legal resident aliens must carry their documentation with them when ever they go out in public.
    My mother carried her green card where ever she went.
    This Hispanic is so tired of new arrivals thinking they have the right to tell us how we should run our country. If you dont like the law you always have the choice to go back to the country you came from.

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