My brother and I were in the nose-bleed seats last night – did you catch us in the crowd? Probably not. But you definitely should have caught the outrageous fandemonium at the second game of the Suns-Spurs playoffs matchup last night. It was the most intensely energized crowd, with seas of orange shirts, ear-shattering boos at the Spurs, and creative noisemakers to add to the fiesta. And a fiesta it was – in honor of Cinco de Mayo, the team dressed in their Los Suns jerseys. The game itself was fierce – we were neck and neck with the Spurs all night. We tied it at a halftime, and surprisingly had a very strong second half of the game, but there were no solid leads the entire game, and no guarantees. But Los Suns really got it together, and we won 110-102, bringing the tally to 2-0 in our run against the notorious Spurs. I can’t tell you enough about how fun the game was.
Earlier in the day, I heard that Steve Nash and Steve Kerr had made their stance against SB-1070, Arizona’s new controversial, muchly-debated immigration bill. They added that they were also wearing the Los Suns jerseys as protest of the bill. Amar’e Stoudemire also took to his twitter to protest against the bill. Here’s a snippet of what they said:
Nash: “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.”
Kerr: “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.”
Amar’e (in a tweet): We support the Latin community. They are part of the 12 tribes of Israel. It 1 nation under YAH (god). Let’s come together. Shalom! 1love”
Now, I can see both sides of this situation – they are in fact exercising their freedom of speech. They have every right to do so, and I applaud them for standing up for Latinos.
The flipside, however, is that people rely on sports entertainment as an escape from the everyday politics and strife of our society. Thus, the team should’ve just stuck to the game, and not the politics.
However, consider this. The Suns weren’t the ones who let politics infiltrate sports – they are responding to national endeavors to boycott Arizona and everything associated with it. The Suns were standing up against this in their own way – their team shouldn’t be boycotted solely because of their state’s offensive legislature. They’re standing up against the bill and standing up for Arizona – there are dissenting voices in this state, and lumping everyone into one racist group is unfair.
As much as I’m conflicted about this bill, I don’t think boycotting the state is the answer. It’s a very strong message, yes, but it pains me because I live here, and I don’t want my state to suffer on account of this bill.
What do YOU think about all of this?