Tag: Arizona immigration

Kobe's wife wears "Do I look illegal" shirt, only one talking immigration


vanessa_Bryant.jpgPhil Jackson isn’t going to talk about it. Kobe Bryant won’t go near it. The Lakers aren’t going to talk about it or wear their Los Lakers jerseys. While there was a small protest outside, inside Staples Center the Arizona Immigration law discussion was dead.

Except for Kobe Bryant’s wife.

Vanessa Bryant is part Hispanic and she wore a shirt that said, “Do I look illegal?” to the game.

The reference was clear.

She — and often the couple’s daughters — are regulars at Lakers games. They tend to stay out of the limelight, as much as that is possible for a high-profile family. But she gets noticed, and used that to make a statement at Game 1 against Arizona.

Phil Jackson doesn't want to mix basketball, politics


The Lakers have Los Lakers jerseys, but they will not be wearing them. As we told you before, the Lakers are not going to play your immigration law games.

Phil Jackson said later that he didn’t see what the big deal was with the law, or why teams should become involved and protest. That, of course, led to protests outside Staples Center tonight from people who think the Lakers should make a statement against the law.

In response, Phil Jackson released a statement today on the issue.

“I’ve been involved in a number of progressive political issues over
the years and I support those who stand up for their beliefs. It is what
makes this country great. I have respect for those who oppose the new
Arizona immigration law, but I am wary of putting entire sports
organizations in the middle of political controversies.

“This was the message of my statement. I know others feel
differently, even in the Lakers organization, but it was a personal
statement. In this regard, it is my wish that this statement not be used
by either side to rally activists.”

The biggest blow the Lakers could make Arizona? Beat the Suns.

Spurs go "loco," read whatever political statement into that you want

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In the wake of the “Los Suns” controversy –and if you don’t think it was controversial, check out our commenters on the story — the Suns/Spurs series shifts to San Antonio.

Another former part of Mexico. Another city with a lot of Mexican influences. Another city with a large Hispanic population. Another city where immigration issues can boil to the surface.

And the fans tonight in San Antonio will be wearing white T-shirts that say, “Fantastico!  SenSAtional!  Loco!” according to NBA.com’s Sekou Smith.

Loco? As in crazy? Is that a little political statement from the Spurs?

You can decide for yourself. The Spurs are not wearing their “Los Spurs” uniforms tonight.

If the Spurs themselves don’t go a little crazy, this series will be over soon.

Suns, Spurs talk about "Los Suns," Arizona immigration bill


The Suns will take the floor in their Los Suns (really should be Los Sols) jerseys tonight, and that has sparked plenty of controversy in and of itself (check out the comments on our story).

Rather than put words in their mouths, we’ll let them speak for themselves.

Suns will wear "Los Suns" Jerseys as part of Arizona immigration bill protest


This took some real cajones.

The controversial immigration bill (SB 1070) just signed into law in Arizona — which allows police making a “legal contact” to demand citizenship papers and makes it illegal not to have them on you — is popular with the majority of voters in the state. Those people are the Suns fan base, the people who fill the US Airways Center, and will again Wednesday night.

And they will see a home team wearing their “Los Suns” jerseys, part of a protest of the bill that included bold statements from several players and the team owner in opposition to it. A protest that was voted on and approved in the Suns locker room and by management will take place on Cinco do Mayo.

The politically active Steve Nash spoke out against the law, as Bright Side of the Sun reported.

“I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment to 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.”

Team owner Robert Sarver added his voice, via the Arizona Republic:

“The frustration with the federal government’s failure to deal with the issue of illegal immigration resulted in passage of a flawed state law,” Sarver said in a statement released by the Suns on Tuesday morning. “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.”

“I looked around our plane and looked at our players and the diversity in our organization,” Sarver said. “I thought we need to go on record that we honor our diversity in our team, in the NBA and we need to show support for that. As for the political part of that, that’s my statement.”

Immigration is a complex issue, one where economic and trade policies of many nations impact local economies and force people to migrate to find economic safety and a better way of life. It has been that way since the first cities were formed. And almost since that time, laws have been put up to stop this immigration. Like so many things in our nation, this is a complex problem with politicians trying to implement simplistic answers and often failing to do even that.

But whatever you think of the new law, you have to admit it takes some real balls for the Suns to make this statement in defiance of their fan base. Or cajones, if you prefer. Although, shouldn’t the jerseys really read, “Los Sols?”