Activists opposed to Arizona's controversial immigration law plan to picket the Lakers Western Conference finals game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center Monday. They've expressed particular ire for Lakers' coach Phil Jackson because he hasn't voiced opposition to the law.
“We are not happy with the position that Phil Jackson took,'' said picket organizer Nativo
Lopez, the national president of the Mexican-American Political Association. “We want to call on Jackson and the Lakers to put on their 'Los Lakers' jerseys, especially considering the tremendous support that the Lakers have enjoyed from the communities specifically targeted by the misguided and racist Arizona law.''
In an interview with ESPN.com columnist and former Los Angeles Times sports writer J.A. Adande, Jackson did not express opposition to the law, even as the Suns officially shunned it by donning “Los Suns” jerseys. “I don't think teams should get involved in the political stuff,” Jackson said.
Others, including Lisa Navarette, a vice president at the National Council of La Raza, would like the Lakers to show some sign of displeasure with the law. Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes wants the team to don “Laguneros” — Spanish for Lakers — jerseys.
Lakers spokesman John Black says Reyes and Lopez shouldn't hold their breath: There will be no demonstration of opposition to the Arizona law on the team's part.
The law allows police who stop suspects to inquire about their immigration status. Critics fear it will be used to harass Latinos. The law, however, forbids “racial” profiling.
-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.