The Phoenix Suns basketball franchise announced that they will be wearing “Los Suns” jerseys on Wednesday night for Game 2 of their playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. The game will be played in Phoenix. Team owner Robert Sarver, a Republican, said the jerseys will “honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona and our nation.” Sarver also made clear in a statement that the selection of the Spanish-language jersey — which will coincide with Cinco de Mayo — is a political statement against Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law:
The frustration with the federal government’s failure to deal with the issue of illegal immigration resulted in passage of a flawed state law. 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.
Matt Yglesias notes that the Suns’ Steve Nash and the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are all immigrants. He writes, “In general, it says good things about the National Basketball Association that foreigners with top-notch basketball skills generally want to come here and play. And the flow of foreign talent to our shores makes the NBA a better product — indeed, an iconic global brand that’s marketed internationally as a U.S. export.”
,In a statement made moments ago, Nash called the law “very misguided”:
“I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment to 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.”