Steve Nash wearing the Los Suns jersey.
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.
Steven Nash was well aware of the perception the recent bill created for Arizona and that seemed to play a role in his decision, "It doesn't feel good to have people around the world and around the country look at our state as less than equal, less than fair. As proud citizen of this state, I want us to be held be held in the highest esteem. I think we have a lot of great attributes and a lot of great people and I think we need to be very cautious in how we respect our civil liberties and the tone we're setting and the precedents we're setting moving forward."
[Note by Seth Pollack, 05/04/10 4:08 PM MST ]
It would seem over the last few hours while I was in a meeting, a lot of discussion has taken place. That's for keeping it civil. I actually had this exact debate with my neighbor a few days ago. He works in the construction industry and had a lot of insight on this first hand. He was in favor of the new bill and I of course was opposed.
On thing we were able to agree on was that something needed to be done to provide a legal process to meet the labor needs. We went round and round to get there but ultimately found common ground.
Hopefully, this is the kind of thing that can happen as a result of the Suns decision. It's exactly what Steve Kerr seemed to be hoping for.
As for actually basketball stuff - there's plenty of that coming later tonight. Don't worry, we won't belabor this topic.
In the mean time, here's some related links: