Protesters Urged to Crash 'Los Suns'
by Miles Walker
PHOENIX, Ariz. — With most Americans supporting the new Arizona law that cracks down on illegal immigrants, there is already a backlash against professional teams whose players publicly have criticized the law.
"If you think that illegal aliens should obey the law," said a leader of the protest movement, Fred Uptahier, "then let's give professional teams a taste of the medicine that they're trying to cram down our throats.
"We encourage everybody to crash the turnstiles at the Suns game on Tuesday, May 11, especially if you can't afford a ticket. Just pretend you don't speak English and walk right in. Even if you have a ticket, don't show it. If enough people do it, all the security people in Phoenix won't be able to stop you. Go ahead and grab all the merchandise, food and drinks you want, and meet me in the sky boxes. The Suns think that people shouldn't obey all the laws, so let's see how they feel when the tables are turned."
Allegedly documented alien Steve Nash of Canada, starting point guard for the Suns, addressed the law during a televised interview after a national broadcast of the most recent Suns game.
"This law gives police the right to stop you just because of your race," he said. "That's just plain wrong. They can kick you out of the country if you forgot your drivers license, and then you'll never get back in without a passport. It reminds me of the way my country treats aliens. They won't let them in, and if they catch them, they send them to jail. It's just not fair.
"It's kind of like the referees in the NBA. Sometimes they call a moving violation on you just because they don't like you. Or they throw you out of the game if you scare them. Same thing in Arizona now. A travesty."
Guard Leandro Barbosa, who hails from Brazil, refused Wednesday to show his green card to reporters.
"I here legally," he said. "But many of my fans have no papers. I don't think they should pay fines or go to jail or go back home just because they want jobs or free health care here."
He said he has had teammates with no papers and has played against many foreign NBA players "who could be thrown out any minute if they look at a police officer wrong."
Former NBA power forward Charles Barkley said he is against any form of discrimination, especially when it concerns race or the quality of the food he ingests.
"Look, if I want Taco Bell's Giant Basket of Delights, I think I should get to eat as many as I want," he said. "And if my Mexican friends want to stay here in Arizona, whether they was legal or not, I think they should be welcome here. We should give 'em citizenship, free housing, free health care, free tuition and anything else they want.
"The Latinos been good to me. I'm a black man, so I don't thinks we should discriminate against illegal aliens. I haven't got shot at yet or kidnapped or nothin', but I had to hire a bodyguard 'cause I'm so high profile that some of these Mexican gangs would kidnap me in a minute for a few million bucks. But like Dr. King say, I don't judge a person by the color of his skin, whether he breakin' the law or not. I've broke plenty of laws, and I would hate to get drunk some night and forget my drivers license and wake up in Juarez."
Kenny Smith, who used to steal the basketball at a rapid clip when he was a starting point guard in the NBA, said he identifies with people who steal.
"These poor Mexicans who sneak in the border, they're just trying to get what they deserve," he said. "They don't steal jobs from rich people like me anyway. Who would hire a guy who can't even speak English to be on national TV anyway?"
"Well, they hired me!" Barkley piped in. "I don't know what they was thinkin'."
"Seriously," Smith continued, "I see Latinos all over building projects, putting on roofs and walls, putting in cement, laying bricks. It used to be that we would see black guys and white guys doing that work, but they obviously don't want to do it anymore because the only people you see building houses anymore are Mexicans."
The Suns planned to wear uniforms sans "Suns" on Wednesday. To honor Latino fans they chose to wear jerseys bearing, "Los Suns." The team's public relations chief, Con T. Splainett, explained that "Los Sols" and "Los Sol Trains" were rejected because black players might object to a verbal treading on their turf.
Some NBA sponsors feared that players' public opposition to a state law that finds favor among a majority of Americans might result in a boycott of their products.
"We're not afraid anybody would refuse to buy Nike shoes over a principle," company spokesman and former NBA shooting guard "Sweet" Schaupps said. "When our customers found out that most of our shoes were made in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia by child slaves in hot, humid factories, our sales actually went up."
The sponsor of the controversial Arizona bill, Russell Pearce, said the law specifically prohibits racial profiling.
"I just want the law enforced, our borders protected and the criminals to be put in jail," he said. "I wonder how these NBA players would feel if they had been shot by Mexican gang members the way that both my son and I have been shot."
Jerry Bilder, President of the Arizona Homebuilders Association said he supports the Suns in opposing the bill.
"If it weren't for the ease with which our workers cross back and forth across the border," he said, "we couldn't make as much profit on the homes we build. We can pay these guys peanuts, and they think they're rich.
If the illegal aliens were fined or jailed, they would stop coming up here, and then we would have to hire some of these unemployed citizens at higher rates. And it's not so much that we have to pay them more, but that we have to pay Social Security taxes, their health insurance, their occupational disability insurance and their unemployment insurance, and we have to withhold federal and state income taxes, which end up going to the government, where it would be wasted trying to keep aliens out of the country.
"The status quo is perfect. We get to keep more of the money when we build a house, our employees and their families get free medical care at any emergency room in the county, their kids get a lot better schooling than they would get in Mexico because everybody up here pays for it, they don't need insurance, and we don't have to waste money on unemployment insurance because if we run out of work, they just go home.
"And who wants to contribute to federal income tax nowadays anyway? I am tired of paying to rescue companies that are too big to fail when the government doesn't ever help me. I have to buy unemployment insurance and compensation insurance on myself, but then I can't get any benefits because I'm self-employed.
"As long as I make enough money, I'll support the Suns by buying season tickets and occasionally advertising on their radio broadcasts.
"I'll be there in my 'Los Suns' jersey from last year."
Quote of the Day
""Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage."." — Saul Alinsky, Marxist radical author.