Los Suns Cinco de Mayo Jerseys
The Phoenix Suns will be the “Los Suns” tonight, both in commemoration of Cinco de Mayo and in protest of Arizona’s controversial immigration law. And, if they happen to make a ton of money selling jerseys, that’s a consequence they’re willing to live with.
The Phoenix Suns will wear “Los Suns” on their jerseys in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night, owner Robert Sarver said, “to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation.”
The decision to wear the jerseys on the Cinco de Mayo holiday stems from a law passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer that has drawn widespread criticism from Latino organizations and civil rights groups that say it could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics. President Barack Obama has called the law “misguided.”
Sarver, who was born and raised in Tucson, said frustration with the federal government’s failure to deal with the illegal immigration issue led to the passage of what he called “a flawed state law.” “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,” he said, “and Arizona’s already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them.”
Sarver came up with the “Los Suns” jersey idea but left it up to the players for the final decision, Suns guard Steve Nash said, and all of them were for it.
“I think it’s fantastic,” 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.”
It’s a nice gesture although, shouldn’t they be “Los Sols” rather than “Los Suns”? [Steven Taylor, who actually speaks Spanish, informs me it should be "Los Soles."]
Amusingly, while this move is getting a lot of attention because of the present controversy, this isn’t anything new. The NBA has been celebrating Noche Latina the last four seasons, and at least eight teams — including the Suns — have worn Spanish variant jerseys in commemoration of that. And the Suns have apparently worn these jerseys twice previously this season without the fanfare.
Also, the Arizona legislature revised the bill over the weekend, seemingly fixing the most obvious problems.
Still, there’s no reason to let facts get in the way of a good story.