Posted by | May 4, 2010 18:59 | Filed under: Top Stories

Steve NashBy William K. Wolfrum

Back in the 1960s, the athlete-activist was in vogue, as Muhammad Ali walked away from his Heavyweight title in protest of the Vietnam War and sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos made a controversial stand for black civil rights at the 1968 Olympics. These days, however, the idea of a prominent professional athlete taking on a political topic is almost unheard of in a corporate sports world. There is just too much money at stake to risk having an opinion on any political subject, regardless of how unjust.

But Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns just inserted themselves into the battle against Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 law. And they did it when the light was shining on them the brightest – during the NBA Playoffs.

Via John Amato at Crooks & Liars:

In an extremely bold move, the Phoenix Suns as an organization made a strong political statement in opposition to the recent Arizona immigration bill.

Discussions on taking action began last week after the bill passed, with an idea that came from Robert Sarver, Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns.

According to Steve Kerr, the team discussed it internally before going to the league for approval to both wear the ‘Los Suns’ jerseys, but also to come out publicly in this way.

Kerr said both the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs were fully supportive of the Suns move.

Ultimately, the decision was left up to the players, but in a locker room led by Steve Nash, it is no surprise how that turned out.

“I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment to our society and our civil liberties and I think it is very important for us to stand up for things we believe in,” Nash said of the bill. “I think the law obviously can target opportunities for racial profiling. Things we don’t want to see and don’t need to see in 2010.”

A truly brave and honorable move by Nash, the Suns and the Spurs, and a sign that perhaps, just perhaps, the age of the activist-athlete could be ready for a return.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: William K. Wolfrum

I'm a journalist, columnist, humorist, satirist, Dogist and Husbandist