The Phoenix Suns will wear their “Los Suns” jerseys in playoff game 2 against the San Antonio Spurs at US Airways arena in Phoenix to protest the new Arizona Immigration Law and in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.
“It’s two-fold,” Suns General Manager Steve Kerr said. “One, it is Cinco de Mayo. And, two, it is a political statement. We felt the law, however well intended, was not right.”
Kerr said the organization cleared the idea first with the league, which endorsed it, and then discussed the proposal with Suns’ players, who were “all for it.”
Suns’ Forward-center Amar’e Stoudemire said it was great to “let the Latin community know we’re behind them 100 percent.”
Wearing the jerseys is “a way for our team and our organization to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league,” Sarver said in a statement released yesterday by the team.
“However intended, the result of passing the law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question,” Sarver said, “and Arizona’s already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them.”
“I think it’s fantastic,” Two-time MVP Suns Point Guard Steve Nash said after Tuesday’s practice. “I think the law is very misguided. 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.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is on board as well. The team even tried to get their “Los Spurs” jerseys for today’s game, but it was too late to do so.
The National Basketball Players Association said in a statement yesterday that the Arizona immigration law is “disappointing and disturbing” and called for its repeal or modification. The players’ union also praised the Suns.
“We applaud the actions of Phoenix Suns players and management and join them in taking a stand against the misguided efforts of Arizona lawmakers,” said the statement by NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter.
The Phoenix Suns will play the San Antonio Spurs in Phoenix tonight in game 2 of the 2010 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals.