Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Church | state, meh, same thing in this case. Okay, so the Phoenix Suns announced that they will be wearing jerseys that say “Los Suns” during Game Two of their Western Conference semifinals playoff on Cinco de Mayo. This makes the second mistake on Arizona’s part regarding how they’ve positioned the whole immigration issue. (Maybe the heat’s getting to people, who knows.)
This isn’t the first time a team has worn an alternate language jersey though, which is part of my angst. (A *dry* kinda angst.) As part of the NBA’s Noche Latina program, several teams have already been wearing alternate phrasings for their regular teams, with names like El Heat for Miami, or Los Spurs for San Antonio, etc. This goes back to the 2006-2007 season.
The difference is that Noche was intended to celebrate the diversity of the growing hispanic fanbase in key NBA markets—the Suns’ move, done with the blessing of the NBA, is in direct response to the recent immigration law passed in the state. It may seem like splitting hairs, but if you believe sports and politics shouldn’t mix, then this one should bug you a little.
Celebrating cultural diversity is one thing—attacking a law that goes after a given culture is another because it automatically becomes political.
It’s a fine line.
Professional sports has always adopted certain causes though, from Susan G. Komen to Pat Tillman’s memorial decal, Societal issues vs. war support, and so on. And that was across an entire league. Why does one team get to take a stance in this case? Shouldn’t the entire league back their move?
What about next time too. If the NBA allows a single team to address a political issue in its home state that it doesn’t like, where should they draw the line?
Sacramento Kings in favor of partners’ rights? The Indiana Pacers supporting America’s farmers? The Knicks supporting a widening of hoops by 10”?*
All examples taken to an extreme, but really, they’re not that far-fetched. It’s madness I say! What say you?
*I may have made that last one up, but yeah, no, they need this one—badly.