Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Arizona's Flagrant Foul

Guest Post from Pedro A. Malavet, Professor of Law, University of FloridaFredric G. Levin College of Law

I do not like the San Antonio Spurs. I probably should like them, but I do not. I have disliked them intensely since they stole a chance at the NBA championship from the Phoenix Suns when a dirty play by the Spurs combined with a stupid NBA rule. Nothing would please me more than to see the Spurs lose their current series against the Suns and judging from the highlights on ESPN, it is a well-played series.

But I will not watch. When their game came on last night after the Cavaliers were defeated by the Celtics, I simply changed channels. And I will not watch them play on any channel, including TNT which is transmitting the current series, until the Arizona let’s-harass-a-latino-today law (so often misidentified as an “immigration” law) is repealed. The legislature and governor of the state of Arizona have made it law for their law enforcement to harass their citizens who are of Latina/o descent. I am Puerto Rican, and therefore a citizen of the United States. But this law creates a climate in which being Puerto Rican (i.e., from a U.S. territory), Arizonan (i.e., from a U.S. territory that became a state), or Mexican (documented or not) does not matter—as long as your name is José, Pedro or María, you can expect Arizona cops to harass you. This is not a matter of politics. It is a matter of race and racism. Sports organizations have often led the way in fighting racism. Will the NBA and TNT do so now?


  1. USA Today reported a few minutes ago that the Phoenix Suns have announced that the team will wear uniforms with the “Los Suns” logo for their next playoff game against the Spurs on May 5. Team owner Robert Sarver stated that this was intended to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and to make a statement against the Arizona law. Sarver also noted the possibility that the law would negatively affect Arizona’s economy. People are listening and reading about this! Speaking on Pardon the Interruption on ESPN, Sun Steve Nash supported the decision and spoke against the law. (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2010-05-04-1738279813_x.htm)

  2. I'm still cheering for Los Spurs.

  3. I am torn now, but respect the heck out of Los Suns and their point guard!



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