I would like to focus this blog on a specific section of chapter 7, which is “Here come the Suns!” : The Phoenix Suns Come out as One. This chapter focuses largely on race and national identity, and more specifically this section of the chapter focuses on how the Phoenix Suns came out against and anti-immigration law implemented by the states of Arizona. Arizona politicians passed a law SB 1070; which essentially stated that any person who was of suspicion to be a “legal alien” and did not have proper registration documents on them was committing a state misdemeanor. Where the Phoenix Suns come into play with this is that their owner, Robert Sarver, decided that the team would wear jerseys that said Los Suns in support of the Latin communities suffering from SB 1070 and also to show the organizations disapproval of the bill.
The fact that Robert Sarver wanted this done was rare as an owner of a professional sports team but brought positive support to the issue from key players such as Steve Nash and Amare’ Stoudemire. The act was also supported by the NBA Players Union, the NBA, and also San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich. The Spurs had attempted to do the same thing to support the cause but could not get Los Spurs jerseys in time. Although, people some parties were upset with the Phoenix Suns for doing this, such as Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio commentator. Limbaugh said that it was “cowardice, pure, and simple.” Another example of someone taking a negative side to the issue is Tom Pomeroy, a insurance agent in Arizona who said the Suns were just worried about losing fans had people viewed Arizona as a fascist state.
Personally, I think that the fact the owner of the Suns proposed this act and had full support of his players speaks volumes of how the team really does support the people of the community. I’m sure some people would think it is just something to keep Latino fans for the team but I feel that if that was the case the players themselves would know and would not vocally show their support as Steve Nash and others did. Normally you hear of professional sport teams coming out saying that “the acts/comments such a person do not represent the values of such organization…” It’s nice to hear the positive support from the top down as was shown here from the Phoenix Suns. Players have a lot of power with fans and amongst their respective leagues, but I believe that the most power comes from the owners who can really throw their weight and financial power around for a good cause, which in my opinion does not happen enough!
Zirin, D. (2013). Game over: How politics has turned the sports world upside down . (pp. 127-129). New York: The New Press.