May 4th, 2010
07:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Anger over Arizona immigration law will be on basketball court

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Phoenix Suns will wear special basketball jerseys emblazoned with the words 'Los Suns' Wednesday night."]Washington (CNN) - Anger over Arizona's controversial immigration law is entering a new arena. The sports arena, to be precise.

The Phoenix Suns will wear special basketball jerseys in Game Two of their Western Conference Playoff Series on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs. The jerseys will be emblazoned with the words, "Los Suns."

Team officials decided to express their frustration with the new law in conjunction with Wednesday's celebration of Mexican heritage on the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

"Our players and organization felt that wearing our "Los Suns" jerseys on Cinco de Mayo was a way for our team and our organization to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the State of Arizona, and our nation," Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver wrote in a statement.

"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. "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."

The National Basketball Association approved the Suns' decision to wear the "Los Suns" jerseys for Game Two.

Basketball is not the only sport being mentioned in relation to Arizona's immigration law. Critics of the law are pressuring Major League Baseball to pull the 2011 All-Star Game out of Phoenix if the law is not changed.

Arizona's immigration law will allow police to demand proof of legal residency when it goes into effect in 90 days. State lawmakers say the law is necessary because the federal government has failed to enforce border security with Mexico, allowing more than 450,000 illegal immigrants to move into the state. Critics say the law is unconstitutional and will lead to racial profiling, which is illegal.

Gov. Jan Brewer said changes to the law that she approved Friday, which clarify that police could only stop suspected illegal immigrants while enforcing some other law or ordinance, should eliminate concerns about racial profiling.

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Obozo's Record Deficit + Higher Taxes

    Well, cry me a river. I support the AZ law.

    I'm tired of ILLEGAL Aliens. Which part of the word ILLEGAL to you not understand. They have no rights other than basic humanity, which means you arrest them, feed them and give them basic care until you dump them outside the US border.

    May 4, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Had enough of GOP neanderthals

    That's awesome!!! I'm rooting for you Los Suns 🙂 🙂

    May 4, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. ib

    This should not be allowed by the NBA; just another reason not to watch. The law is to protect US citizens something Obama and the democrats do not or will not do. They are more interested in votes than protecting their own people.

    May 4, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Bill from SoCal

    So...racial profiling is illegal, as is trespassing across the border. When forced to choose the lessor of two evils, racial profiling loses out. I'm more concerned with keeping our borders safe and secure than I am of offending people.

    May 4, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |

    Good move, after all who cleans their executive suites and arena. Hope UofA, AZ State, NAU follow after all who cleans up after their events as well. Laborer willing to work for less than the fair market rate. Hope all those rich folks who have vacation homes and flock to AZ to retire get rid of their hired Illegal Immigrants and start paying the fair market price for a house cleaner, gardner etc.

    May 4, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. another Dave

    Where is the story about pro illegal alien activist sending white powder to Gov. Jan Brewer's office...

    Oh if this could have been traced to tea partiers, CNN would have been all over it!

    May 4, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. julesh2010

    Go Suns! I think I now have a favorite basketball team.

    May 4, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. J.T.

    GREAT JOB SUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though I don't you guys are going to make it to the finals. I respect you guys stand on what's right.

    May 4, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Gotta love the GOP, they sure know how to shoot themselves in the feet just before election time!!!!!

    May 4, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Luis Teixiera

    All america are again the AZ law, and eourope, africa, asia, midle east pronunce agains this law, The secretary of OEA, the NATO, the baseball, and now the basket ball players are agins this law....the last saturday was the most bigest march on the history of the world....we can not close our eyes and presume that nothing happen, something wonderfull happen, and god was there....stop the violence, the hate and the race....the congress have to act a Human Rigth..

    May 4, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. anonymous

    thank you (Los) Suns and Mr. Sarver

    May 4, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. OARFNY

    It's conceivable that some other team, somewhere has ownershp as stupid as this one.

    May 4, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Good for them, it's the right thing to do if you've ever seen a Suns game, the Latino community supports them heavily and they aren't the illegals. Visit Arizona and see for yourself.

    May 4, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. The Law Is The Law

    Illegal immigrants are just what the name says, illegal, which means criminal.And criminals should be treated like criminals Arizona is right on this issue. Wish more states would take a stand.How about you Texas?

    May 4, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. Biased

    I am sure that Arizonans and the Hispanic community will appreciate your homage to the immigrants residing there. If however your decision to do it to somehow flaunt what you call a flawed law, then perhaps while sitting on the bench, you might read it and that it mirrors federal law already in existence and allows your state to help the Feds enforce what they seem to be unwilling to do on their own. Perhaps you might ask those immigrants who took up residence in the state and the US legally whether they appreciate the fact that their hard work and efforts to respect the laws of the land they chose to reside in, are being ridiculed by democrats and the open borders people who feel that upsetting the feelings of illegals are more important than their legal right to live in an area that has less people sneaking across the border with many of them bringing drugs and weapons.

    May 4, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. The Truth, Please...I Just Want The Truth

    Conservatives say that they believe in an individual's "personal freedom and liberty." Then they want to tell us what language we have to speak.

    There's something about this equation that just doesn't add up...

    May 4, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. vgal

    Yeah! Glad to see people standing up for what they believe in. BTW – the jobs that these immigrants take are the jobs that no one else wants. So, for those wishing to expel them from our country – who do you think is going to take over these jobs? We just need to get protections in there for these people so that horrible employers don't take advantage of them.

    May 4, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  18. Alex

    Good for them. I'm sure many people were planning on boycotting Suns games, but not anymore.

    May 4, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    Nitwits with too much money

    May 4, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. proud conservative

    What a great way to turn OFF the 70% of LEGAL Arizona citizens who support this law. Politics should be kept out of sports.

    May 4, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. Robert

    I think everyone, all 70% of those Arizonans in favor the the law – should boycott the Suns. Wonder how that will do for their pocket????

    May 4, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  22. xscott71x

    These spoiled millionaires are paid to play ball. Everyone is entitled to make their political view known and to share them, however, unless the NBA, as an organization comes out to say that they do not support Arizona's new illegal immigration law, the players and teams have no place giving their uninformed opinion during play-time.

    May 4, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  23. carlos

    way to go LOS SUNS, hope you win.......

    May 4, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    These basketball players are certainly at liberty to express their opinions–and the majority of the people of Arizona who support the law are equally at liberty to decline to attend games played by those players.

    May 4, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Molly in Oregon

    Go Suns! I'm incredibly impressed with the ethics and profile of their response.

    May 4, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |