According to Aztec oral tradition, the people of that early Americas empire originated from a land called Aztlan — and some scholars believe that Aztlan was Arizona. There are interesting similarities between the Hopi that were once the people of Arizona and the Aztecs.
As a tribute to those early Arizona ancestors, the Phoenix Suns have unveiled their new Aztec uniform, although it is not officially part of the 2021-22 season rotation.
𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝘇𝘁𝗲𝗰 𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁:
A tribute to early ancestors of The Valley, our Mexican and Mexican-American fans, and the warrior spirit we bring to battle everyday.
Drop your thoughts below 📥
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 25, 2021
Here is an image of the back of the uniform.
Steeped in symbolism, the uniform boldly blends the grit, unity and history of the Aztec civilization, harnessing the prowess and battle-hardened strength of its people, and the influence it has had on Latin culture for centuries.
The Aztec Sun Stone centered on the chest, as well as within the “PHX” word mark, symbolizes a gathering of deities working as one. The rays surrounding the triangular design represent emanating heat and unity, all originating from a single source, the Sun.
The armor displayed down the left side of the leg depicts the ultimate warrior animal, a jaguar. The inner animal of the Hispanic people stands for strength and the notion that those who bear the armor are ready to strike and attack at any time.
The Aztec Death Stone imprinted on the back of the jersey pays homage to fearless warriors even in the face of death. They carry an all-or-nothing mindset into battle, often leading to victory through intimidation or strength or both.
I generally like a team’s black jerseys, and this is no exception, although I am curious how all the subtle markings will come across on a broadcast.
There was some pushback online to the new uniform design, which the Suns said they welcomed. Much of it boiled down to the open-to-debate idea the Aztec’s Aztlan was in Arizona, and why not do something with the Native American tribes that are still represented in the state.
The Suns already had a black “the Valley” uniform, which will be back next season.