Phoenix Suns managing partner Robert Sarver, with the unanimous support of his team, has come out against Arizona’s SB 1070, and they’re going to show it tonight by wearing “Los Suns” jerseys when they play Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against San Antonio Spurs in Phoenix. They’ve worn “Los Suns” jerseys twice this year in the regular season; they were initially made for a “Noche Latina” themed night. But tonight that marketing gimmick is being refashioned into a political statement. Sarver, who was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, issued a release yesterday. “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.” The Suns are the first state sports team to take a stance on SB 1070. Sarver later told reporters:
“I don’t think it’s the right way to handle the immigration problem, No. 1. No. 2, as I read through the bill, it felt to me a little bit like it was mean-spirited and I personally just don’t agree with it. In addition, one of the main priorities right now for our state is to get jobs for people. The enactment of this bill just puts us farther behind the eight ball in attracting companies to do business here and I think it will have a negative economic effect and a negative effect on our ability to create jobs for people who are looking for work.
Suns players, including the already politically outspoken point guard Steve Nash and the less vocal Amare Stoudemire were enthusiastic about the jersey switch. Stoudemire told reporters: “It’s going to be great to wear Los Suns to let the Latin community know we’re behind them 100%.”