Breaking news: In our zealous pursuit of getting lots of news to you quickly we erred in stating that the Phoenix Suns were playing the Lakers Wednesday (the post, up for about a half an hour, has been deleted). In a game with San Antonio the Arizona team plans to protest its home state's immigration law by temporarily changing its name to 'Los Suns.' We regret the error.
The symbolic gesture will come on Cinco de Mayo no less, with Suns owner Robert Sarver calling the Arizona law "flawed." "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," he said in a statement released Tuesday. "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 NBA Players Association backed the move by the Suns, with the group's executive director, Billy Hunter, saying " ... the recent passage of the new immigration law in Arizona is disappointing and disturbing."
The law allows law enforcement officers in Arizona to ask people they stop for proof of immigration status. Critics argue that not everyone will be asked -- only those who appear to be Mexican, whether or not they were born in the United States.
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"We're all proud to wear our Los Suns uniforms tomorrow night for Cinco de Mayo," Suns guard Steve Nash said. "Obviously the passing of the recent bill and what that means to our state, to civil liberties, and the quality and precedent it's setting, and message it sends to our youngsters in the community, we have a problem with that. It's great that our owner took the initiative and our players are behind him."