Monday, June 17, 2024

The Phoenix Suns Will Wear Jerseys in Spanish Tonight in Protest of Arizona’s Immigration Law

Adding to an ongoing list of prominent outcries over Arizona’s new anti-immigration law, the state’s only NBA team, the Phoenix Suns, will change their jerseys for tonight’s game to “Los Suns”.

The team’s owner, Robert Sarver, said the move, which happens to coincide with the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo, is meant in part as a tribute to the Latino community and “the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation.”  The action comes on the heels of the Arizona governor’s signing of a measure that will in part allow police to stop anyone they suspect of being illegal and requires immigrants to carry proof of legal residency at all times.

In a statement Sarver said, “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.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern called said he thought the move was “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.”Arizona Watch

The NBA joins the Major League Baseball Players’ Association which, as reported in La Plaza last week, issued a statement expressing their concern over the new law as well.

Hispanics make up about 15 percent of the NBA’s market, which is about equal to the Latino population in the US.  The Suns’ guard Leandro Barbosa is from Brazil making him one of the18 players in the NBA from Latin America.

Steve Nash, who is the Suns star point guard, said,  “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.”

Arizona resident and basketball superstar Charles Barkley said the immigration law offended him, both as an African-American and as a resident of Arizona, “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.”

On the other side of the court tonight will be San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who was born in Argentina.  He expressed his concerns over Arizona’s actions by saying, “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,”

Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between the “Los Suns de Phoenix” and the San Antonio Spurs will be played tonight in Phoenix.



USA Today


  1. Natalia says

    So proud that the NBA is standing up for this!!!

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