Monday, May 10, 2010

Los Dummies

There's a reason why we don't elect basketball teams to set public policy.

The Phoenix Suns are a good reminder.

No matter what you think of the new illegal immigration law in Arizona, it's fair to say that just putting a “Los” in front of your team name is not going to lead to solutions.

The problems Arizona face right now with their hopelessly porous southern border, are myriad.

And real.

The Suns stance – and they insist it is not a stance, per se, just a recognition of the proud latino community – is not a serious one. They offer no amendments to the law they purport to oppose. They offer no alternate solution.

They don't even give lip service to the seriousness or complexity of the problem.

To just put a “Los” out there, does nothing. Not for a civic/law enforcement/constitutional issue like this. It is the equivalent of reducing the entirety of United States foreign policy to a t-shirt that says “Make Love, Not War.”

I don't have a particular stance on this law, because I have not read it in its entirety. I don't care to. I don't live in Arizona.

Yet, these facts haven't stopped the usual chorus of sportswriters who live far, far, away, to write the utterly predictable. Few of them have read the whole bill. Few of them have interviewed local lawmakers to get a perspective on what is in the bill, and how it will be implemented.

And I haven't read one sportswriter who thinks the bill is sensible and fair.

Hmmm. Isn't that interesting?

I find it also rather amazing that not a single Suns player or executive felt comfortable enough with the tolerance of diversity of opinion these days, to come out and say respectfully: “You know, I think the organization is wrong here. I'm disappointed we're doing this.”


Well then, I guess it's just that simple. The Phoenix Suns are wise, enlightened, and sensibly color blind. And the democratically elected legislature of Arizona, and the democratically elected governor are complete idiots, morally bankrupt, and probably racist.

Nah. Strike probably. Those racists!

Is it “appropriate” for the Suns to go “Los” on this issue, or other leagues like MLB to pull the All-Star Game next year? Should sports and politics mix like this?

No. Of course it's not appropriate.

Not because the Suns are not “entitled” to make such a choice. They can do whatever they like with their name and jerseys. It's not appropriate because their actions add nothing to the public discourse on the issue. The Suns were not there when the bill was being formulated. They won't be there after it's put into action. And they have no capacity or desire to write public policy.

So they should do themselves a favor, and shut the hell up and play basketball.

If Steve Nash still thinks the law is crap, he's welcome to say: “I hate this law, think it's wrong, and if it's not changed before next season, I'm demanding a trade.”

As a Canadian, it must be nice to have a super rich, peaceful, common language speaking neighbor to the south. One that doesn't invade their country illegally by the millions through Moose Jaw and Thunder Bay. One that doesn't shoot the crime rate through the roof in Medicine Hat, or flood the schools with non-english speaking immigrants in Saskatoon.

How about this, Steve. We'll trade you Arizona and New Mexico for British Columbia and Alberta. Then you can figure it out.

And if MLB or the NFL decides to jump in on this issue – which I doubt, because of the logistics involved in yanking an All-Star Game or Super Bowl – then they will officially be in the business of passing judgment on state lawmaking of all kinds.

To which their sensitivity and “doing good” shall have no end.


  1. Czabe, I have nothing to add but just wanted to thank you for writing this. You are treating this debate as fair, level-headed, and logical as I've seen anyone in the sports media (or the local media here in Phoenix) treat it over the past two weeks.

    Oh, if only everyone could stop and think about an issue and decide for themselves, instead of just starting from the conclusion they want and working backwards...or simply getting outraged for the sake of being outraged at something...what better communication and debate we'd have in this great nation.

  2. Czabe:

    The real reason why the Suns wore those ridiculous "LOS SUNS" jerseys was so idiots like Al Sharpton will line up to buy them. Before last week, they were stuck on the clearance rack. Now, they sell for full price!. Maybe we should call them "LO$ $UN$"

    - Taha

  3. of course, we DO know what side of this issue you fall on, so by putting into the terms of the team and the NBA, you get your $.02 in...

    whatever, i'm only here for the women!

  4. What bugs me about the "LOS SUNS" jersey is that the jersey was around before the passing of the new Arizona Law and the SUNS owner just used it to jump into the debate and make a statement. The whole thing feels very insincere.
    It would kind of be like Carson Palmer coming out and saying that he would wear the number 9 in honor of Steve McNair.

  5. Czabe, there is one sports guy who hasn't jumped off the wagon.;coverlist_footer

  6. Goes to show you that the separation of sports and state is equally as, if not more important than, the separation of church and state.

    Either way, inclusion of one into the other seems to always end in disaster.

  7. Czabe, as a hispanic living in NM I applaud your opinion. I'm tired of all these folks whining about the racist white guys who write these laws. Get off the welfare line and get in the immigration line or get out!

  8. Agree, Czabe. And anyway, shouldn't it read "Los Sols" to actually look sincere?

  9. I think the Suns should allow everyone onto the team who wants to be a Sun. You, me, 12 year old kids, is discriminatory to make players try out. Those racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, bastards!

  10. Right on, Czabe! I was hoping you'd put something together regarding this.
    One article I read pointed out that if they wanted to be true to the language, they would have gone with "Los Soles."
    Anyway, that's why I don't listen to/watch the 4-letter: too much politics mixed in...if I want politics, I'll listen to Limbaugh or someone who doesn't try to hide the politics, thank you.

  11. As someone living near the front lines of the immigration invasion all I can say to the Suns is...GREAT piece of guerilla marketing! THAT will sell some more Suns Jerseys!

    Of course, I doubt the U.S. citizens living along our Southern border appreciate the gesture as they endure having loved ones assaulted and MURDERED and their private property being used as garbage dumps and latrines by passing illegals, many of whom also help themselves to whatever isn't nailed down along the way.

    Let's put 40 or 50 illegals in Nancy Pelosi's backyard for a couple of days and then see what kind of tune she whistles when her property looks like a trash heap and smells like an outhouse.

  12. Czabe, I like you and honor your candor, but as a citizen of Arizona since '63, I must tell you that the "democratically elected legislature of Arizona, and the democratically elected governor are complete idiots, morally bankrupt, and probably racist;" rather sums up our local politics. Friends I went to grade school with in '63 will have to carry papers just because they look like illegals. That is the crux of the problem. Many of us don't really care about the fate of illegals, we just want to protect our Hispanic fellow Americans from the indignity of being braced for documents every time they are pulled over by the police.

  13. @ Huple's Cat:

    I seriously doubt that your friends there in AZ look like illegals. Do they drive trucks that say "Hecho in Mexico" on their back windows or have Mexican flags on their bumpers? Do they blare Tejano music out their windows while they drive slowly down the street? Do they share a two bedroom house with nine of their family members when they only claimed that three people were going to live there when they signed the lease? Do they only speak five words of English, none of which are "I am an American Citizen" in perfect, non-Mexican accented, American dialect? If your friends get pulled over for running a red light, I have serious doubts that a police officer is going to question their citizenship after asking them for their driver's license and talking with them for 10 seconds if they have obviously lived in the U.S. all of their lives. Any self-respecting properly-educated cop will know an illegal when he sees one. The media has done a bang-up job of portraying the law as one that allows law enforcement to stop any brown skinned person walking down the street and ask (with a very Soviet-era type of questioning) "Do you have your papers?" That is not the case, and anybody ignorant enough to believe what Al Sharpton says doesn't deserve to have an opinion about this. In fact they shouldn't be allowed to drive, vote, have children, or interact with the general public if they are that stupid.

  14. "anybody ignorant enough to believe what Al Sharpton says doesn't deserve to have an opinion about this. In fact they shouldn't be allowed to drive, vote, have children, or interact with the general public if they are that stupid." Why stop there, Berkley?

  15. I suspect most of the Arizona Haters are as informed on the bill as
    US AG Eric Holder...