My NBA team is out of the playoffs and I’ve been struggling with deciding on who to root for… but a struggle it is no longer. I will be rooting for the Phoenix Suns.
In an extremely bold move, the Phoenix Suns as an organization made a strong political statement in opposition to the recent Arizona immigration bill.
Discussions on taking action began last week after the bill passed, with an idea that came from Robert Sarver, Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns.
According to Steve Kerr, the team discussed it internally before going to the league for approval to both wear the ‘Los Suns’ jerseys, but also to come out publicly in this way.
Kerr said both the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs were fully supportive of the Suns move.
Ultimately, the decision was left up to the players, but in a locker room led by Steve Nash, it is no surprise how that turned out.
“I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties and I think it is very important for us to stand up for things we believe in,” Nash said of the bill. “I think the law obviously can target opportunities for racial profiling. Things we don’t want to see and don’t need to see in 2010.”
Amare Stoudemire and Alvin Gentry also expressed their support for the decision with more of a focus on supporting their neighbors. “It’s going to be great to wear Los Suns to let the Latin community know we’re behind them 100%,” Stoudemire said.
There’s no question that this public move will receive considerable backlash in this state and likely among many Suns fans and perhaps even sponsors.
Steve Kerr tried to walk the line between the political implications by talking about the move as a way for an organization that is in the public eye to push the discussion.
“We want to celebrate the diversity that exists in our state and exists in the NBA. We know what’s going on and we don’t agree with the law itself,” Kerr said.
You guys rock. It takes a lot of balls for a business organization that is located in the center of a metropolis that is dealing with the controversy to make such a move. It will definitely alienate many [bigoted] fans, which could result in a loss of sales, although we can only hope that the backlash will not be too severe for them.
So… go Suns!