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Immigration law sparks 'Los Suns' jerseys

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Phoenix Suns basketball

Immigration law sparks 'Los Suns' jerseys

Sarver: SB 1070 call into question basic principles

The Phoenix Suns will wear "Los Suns" on their jerseys for Wednesday's Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals to "honor our Latino community" after the passage of Arizona's controversial new immigration law.

Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver said the team will wear the jerseys on Cinco de Mayo "to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation."

SB 1070 and its amended version, HB 2162, direct Arizona police to determine the immigration status of those they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally. The law, which will take effect at the end of July, has raised fears of racial profiling.

Sarver said in a news release that the law calls into question "our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law."

The team supported Sarver's call to wear "Los Suns," reports the Arizona Republic:

After the Suns won their first-round series in Portland on Thursday, Sarver made the decision that he wanted the Suns to wear the orange "Los Suns" jerseys, which Phoenix wore in two March home wins for the NBA's Noche Latina marketing. In a team meeting at Sarver's house Saturday, the players were unanimously in favor of wearing them on Cinco de Mayo, Sarver said by phone.

Wearing the jerseys is meant as a political statement. 

"There are times you need to stand up and be heard," Sarver told the Republic. "I respect people's views on the other side but I just felt it was appropriate for me to stand up and make a statement."

Sarver's statement

Our players and organization felt that wearing our "Los Suns" jerseys on Cinco de Mayo was a way for our team and our organization to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the State of Arizona, and our nation. We are proud that 400 players from 36 countries compete in the NBA, and the league and the Suns have always considered that to be a great strength of the NBA.

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.

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