May 5th, 2010
10:30 AM ET

Immigration takes center court at Suns-Spurs playoffs

The Phoenix Suns will once again don their "Los Suns" jersey -- this time in response to Arizona's new immigration law.

It’s not often point guards and power forwards partake in politics.

Responding to a recently passed immigration policy in Arizona, the Phoenix Suns will take the court Wednesday in jerseys bearing their name in Spanish.

Robert Sarver, owner of “Los Suns,” said his team will wear the jerseys during Game Two of its playoff matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, which falls on the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo.

“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,” he said in a statement.

The move was designed, in part, to honor Phoenix’s Latino community, Sarver said.

The Suns also have a Latin-born player, guard Leandro Barbosa of Brazil. He is one of the NBA’s 18 players from Latin America. Hispanics compose about 15 percent of the NBA’s market, according to the league.

The new immigration law, which goes into effect in August, allows police in Arizona to demand proof of residency. Critics say the law encourages racial profiling. Proponents say it’s a necessary response to stem the tide of illegal immigrants flowing into the state.

The Suns’ protest was roundly supported by NBA players and officials, according to an NBA.com report.

NBA Commissioner David Stern called the move “appropriate.” The NBA Players Association also praised the protest as NBAPA Executive Director Billy Hunter called the immigration law “offensive and incompatible with the basic notions of fairness and equal protection.”

Added star point guard Steve Nash: “Obviously the passing of the recent bill and what that means to our state, to civil liberties, and the quality and precedent it’s setting, and message it sends to our youngsters in the community, we have a problem with that. It's great that our owner took the initiative and our players are behind him.”

In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Dan Patrick, the always outspoken Charles Barkley said the immigration law offended him, both as an African-American and as a resident of Arizona. He suggested the policy was merely a political ploy.

“Most of those immigrants here are busting their hump, doing a great job, and to go after them every couple of years because you want to raise hell doing something to get re-elected, that’s disrespectful and disgusting,” he said.

Despite that the Spurs will do battle with the Suns at 8 p.m. ET, at least one San Antonio player was able to find solidarity with his rivals.

Argentina-born guard Manu Ginobili said he hopes Arizona can find another way to deal with its immigration woes.

“I hope they change [the law] back to what it was and give the workers the possibility to be legal and pay taxes as everyone else,” he told NBA.com.

Wednesday won’t be the first time the NBA has honored the Latino community. In March, the league held Noche Latina (Latin Night), with Los Lakers, the Knicks of Nueva York, Miami’s El Heat and Dallas’ Los Mavs among nine teams wearing Spanish-language jerseys.

Post by:
Filed under: Immigration • Sports
soundoff (1,270 Responses)
  1. H.A.

    I mean 5th of May...

    May 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Larry

    I heard the Atlanta Hawks will be sporting their new jerseys in Spanish as well. It will say Muerto Ave.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ACT

    Ever heared about the "Melting Pot". Every "American" desends from an Immigrant: European, African, Asian, Etc... You just keep complaining about Immigrants, but you have immigrant blood in you. Lets stop accusing one another. Why are we making so much DRAMA. I really support the idea of Los Suns, immigrants are part of what America is today, we should all colaborate, stop being racists. We only mention Mexicans as Latinos or Hispanics, but really we have more people from diferent countries.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. plopsdad

    : ACT

    Whos complaining about immigrants, no one, its illegal immigrants, the two are different
    \

    May 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Barry

    rick, the two are unrelated. waving the flag after 9/11 was showing national pride. it wasn't political. athletes waving the american flag is not the same as athletes discussing their take on political policies.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Do you think the Latin community really gives a crap about having the word Los on the stupid uniform. This is a ignorant liberal ploy to make it seem they they care when in reality it belittles a people like they are a 3rd grader that needs to be patted on the head. Do you think if I was living in Germany and they used English names on their jerseys I'd get all excited, "Oh boy, they care!!!! Look, English words on the jerseys!!!!!!"

    May 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joshua

    Are we the only country in the world where inforcing the LAW is racist??? The NBA should be ashamed and I hope the suns get booed from the more than 70% or Arizonians who FAVOR this law.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nancy

    I think there are a lot of ignorant people on here. Just because some people are not white doesn't mean they are racist, it's just very obvious who they are after in Arizona. Many people on here would not be talking ____, if you had ever been in the position where someone has discriminated you then you don't know the feeling. Get a life.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sean

    The only true Americans are the native indians. Everyone else is descendants from some other country. Thats how this country was built. We can argue for years over this issue and no one will ever agree. These players and NBA execs are voicing thier opinion just like you and me. Don't be angry that they have a position that puts their words in the media spotlight. You would do the same if you had the power or else you wouldn't be posting here. What does the law suppose to stop. Illegal immigrants right? The racial profiling issue comes into play because Mexicans are the ones going to be singled out. You don't hear anything about Middle Easterners, Asians, or other nationalities going to be targeted.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin

    BOYCOTT THE SUNS!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Diego

    Mike Smith is right. If all these people want to come to our country and try to use obtuse metaphors that add nothing an already complex debate, then I say let them. It is obvious that plenty of REAL AMERICANS understand that when you compare office politics and real issues that cross socio-cultural, political, economic and historical boundaries (see what I did there), it makes no sense to not use metaphors about encroaching on others' office space. It makes the issues clear. Mike Smith has done us all a HUGE FAVOR and should be promoted to third grade president.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. david

    hell is steve nash even here legaly he said he was from canada...he needs to go home...cause this is not his country.....i will never watch an nba game again

    May 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tee

    @ Chris...Merely pointing out how history uses sport figures to bring awareness to political views. Even in politics, sports figures are used to sway your vote. So, it's only befitting that Sports figures are allowed to have an opiinion about politics. We all can be ignorant at times so dont worry. Today is just your day.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. THE_SUNS SUCK

    BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK! BOYCOTT THE PHOENIX SUNS! THE PHOENIX SUNS SUCK!

    May 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jack

    Uh huh. I like how celebrities always come out on the far left of these issues. Any guesses why folks? Money. They have plenty of it. Barkley can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars a year gambling and he'll still ALWAYS be loaded. where his tax dollars go is much less of a concern to him. Me? I make 50,000 a year, and chaps my ass that I'll go bankrupt if I'm sick enough and an illegal alien gets his life saved for free. Oh, and I get to PAY for it! and Mr. Ginobli, what exactly is your idea for solving our illegal immigration woes? Close our eyes and "idealize" it away?

    This just in: Liberals across the country fear that Arizona's new immigration law enacted to stem the tide of illegal aliens crossing the border FROM MEXICO will lead to profiling of people....FROM MEXICO....

    I suggest we instruct our police to only request identification from citizens of obvious Irish or Scandinavian descent.....THAT should fix the problem.....

    May 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85