Arizona Basketball Team Protests Immigration Law with 'Spanish-Language' Jerseys

The Phoenix Suns took the court for Wednesday night's game wearing "Los Suns" jerseys to "honor [Arizona's] Latino community" and "give the middle finger to racists" (I made up that second quote). Guess how Rush Limbaugh felt about it?

Usually, the "Los Suns" jerseys are broken out as a marketing gimmick when the NBA wants to appeal to Latinos. This time, they were used as a protest gimmick to appeal to people who are not xenophobic authoritarians. And it must have worked, too, because Rush Limbaugh got all mad! He called it "cowardice, pure and simple." Not quite, Rush! See, "cowardice" would be enacting a draconian, civil rights-infringing law that targets a specific subset of the population because you think (wrongly) that drug violence is spilling over the border. But good try!

Arizona Basketball Team Protests Immigration Law with 'Spanish-Language' Jerseys



Even the president heard about the "Los Suns" thing! He told the guests at his Cinco de Mayo reception, "I know that a lot of you would rather be watching tonight's game—the Spurs against 'Los Suns' from Phoenix." Probably they were pretty happy hanging out at the White House Cinco de Mayo party, though.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, for her part, responded on well-known politics and national affairs website ESPN.com with the argument, "Well, this is all the federal government's fault, for not doing anything," which is a fair point but not really a great reason to pass sweeping legislation that vastly increases police power. She also used the following terrible clunky sports metaphors, apparently because the audience at ESPN.com couldn't possibly understand what she means unless sports are somehow involved:

  • "Imagine a sporting event in which rules have been agreed to for 70 years, but the umpires refuse to enforce those rules."
  • "Urging Major League Baseball to take away next year's All-Star Game from Phoenix is the wrong play."
  • "Essentially, our border leaks like a team with a last-place defense."

Los Suns won, by the way, beating "the" Spurs 110-102 and taking a 2-0 series lead.

[ESPN; BusinessWeek; pic via Getty]