Last fall Studio 360 looked at how the NFL used throwback jerseys to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the old American Football League.
Those uniforms used design to honor the game's past. But now the NBA's Phoenix Suns are using uniform design to try to impact the present. Yesterday the team celebrated Cinco de Mayo by suiting up in uniforms emblazoned with the name 'Los Suns.'
The Suns have donned the Spanish-styled uniforms twice already this season as part of the NBA's “Noche Latina” program.
But now there's an added political significance to the 'Los Suns' name: the entire team, from players to staff to management, is using it to make a statement against Arizona's controversial new law aimed at curbing illegal immigration (which opponents say will lead to widespread racial profiling by law enforcement).
Steve Nash, the Suns' point guard and two-time MVP, told ESPN, 'I think the law is very misguided. I think it's, unfortunately, to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties.' Suns' general manager Steve Kerr explained 'We want to celebrate the diversity that exists in our state and the diversity that exists in the NBA, make sure that people understand that we know what's going on and we don't agree with the law itself.'
Basketball has a significant Latino fan-base -- and indeed, the statement has drawn praise from fans of many backgrounds. But in a state whose majority supports the law, it's a bold move that could sour their home court advantage.
- Michael Guerriero