May 4 (Bloomberg) — Phoenix will wear “Los Suns” jerseys against the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo holiday and to draw attention to an Arizona immigration law that team Managing Partner Robert Sarver said is “flawed.”
The Suns wore the jerseys twice during the regular season and also in past campaigns. This will be the first time they have appeared in them during the National Basketball Association playoffs. The Suns lead the Spurs 1-0 in the second-round series after a 111-102 win yesterday.
Wearing the jerseys is “a way for our team and our organization to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league,” Sarver said in a statement released today by the team.
About 34 percent of Phoenix residents were of Hispanic or Latino origin at the time of the 2000 U.S. census, the last time such a measurement was made.
A law signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on April 23 compels police to investigate the status of anyone they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally.
The measure has been criticized by Latino and civil rights groups, and there have been calls for athletes to boycott sports events in Arizona.
“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,” Sarver said.
The National Basketball Players Association praised the Suns and called for the repeal or modification of the law, which it said was “disappointing and disturbing.”
“We applaud the actions of Phoenix Suns players and management and join them in taking a stand against the misguided efforts of Arizona lawmakers,” Executive Director Billy Hunter said in the union’s statement.