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The NBA, Unconstitutional Immigration Laws, & Happy Cinco De Mayo

So anyone keeping up with the NBA playoffs should realize that this is the year that the Cavs are going to take the ship. They will do this because of three reason. Reason #1: Shaq. Reason#2: Jamison. Reason #3: Lebron (who is a back to back MVP). Sorry to bring my sports bias to the black youth project website, but as a fellow Clevelander, we seldom have sports teams to hold best records in the regular season, so please cut me some slack.

But outside of my championship hopes for my home team, the NBA playoffs tomorrow night will take a sharp turn right into the arena of politics and fortunately minorities will be on the winning team (this time at least). Tomorrow night to celebreate Cinco de Mayo the Phoenix Suns are going to wear specialized jerseys for the Latino community. These Jersey will have “Los Suns” written across the chest. This political statement is also an act to protest the new Unconstitutional Immigration Law.

For those who aren’t acclimatized to the new law, allow me to give a Jonathan-Definition. This new immigration law is somewhere between a fugitive slave law (papers verifying individuals were freed slaves) and Identification that was forced to be shown in apartheid. According to the Chicago Tribune, the “law gives the police the power to question anyone they suspect is in the country illegally, requires people to produce documents verifying their status if asked, and allows officers to detain anyone who cannot do so” This scares me. This scares me a lot! I have problems with the private police force on my campus, the people who get paid to protect me, only the lord knows what problems people of color are going to have in Arizona, with police officers that are basically given a free profiling pass.

However, in the midst of unjust laws, the Phoenix Suns have decided to take some type of stand. And specifically take part in the celebration of Mexican heritage and pride and generally make a stand against the laws that are so blatantly wrong.

The team owner Robert Sarver suggested the team wear their “Noche Latina alternates.” The team put out a statement yesterday saying the reason for the special jerseys is to “to honor [the] Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation.” The teams owner was born and grew up in Tucson, he also put out a statement expressing his anger with the federal government, their failed attempt to deal with the illegal immigration issues, and how ultimately this failed attempt has led to the passage of “a flawed state law.”

Steve Nash, another two time MVP winning baskeball player (not as good as Lebron James but still respectable) said something that made me admire him a lot more. It is always interesting to hear the politics of people you have watched play a sport for over a decade. Nash was quoted saying “I think the law is very misguided. I think it’s, unfortunately, to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties. Our Latino community here is very strong and important to us.”

If only Steve Nash and more of these politically aware sports players became politicians maybe the laws in Arizona would be a little more constitutional.