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And Another Thing


Los hubbub

So I've been listening all afternoon to various yammering heads talk about the Phoenix Suns' decision to honor Cinco de Mayo (and maybe take a slap at Arizona's brain-dead Breathing While Hispanic immigration law) by wearing jerseys that read "Los Suns" on the front tonight.

The most disturbing, and ridiculous, thing I've heard is that sports and politics shouldn't mix.

The people who are saying that apparently have forgotten about, among many other examples, the BCS, the NCAA Tournament and the Super Bowl. If you don't think all of those aren't waders-deep in politics, you are naive indeed.

Here's the deal. Sports isn't fun and games anymore; it's big business, and big business and politics are joined at the hip more than at any time in my memory. The Suns pump millions of dollars into the Arizona economy every year. Thus, they have every right to weigh in on an issue they see as possibly cutting into their bottom line -- and effectively treating the enormous Latino community in Arizona as if they're all criminals has the potential to do just that.

So if Steve Nash, who's drawn thousands of fans and therefore generated a signficant chunk of revenue himself, wants to speak out on this issue, he has every right to, because that's what America's all about. So does Suns GM Steve Kerr, a U. of Arizona grad who rightly said the new law contains at least overtones of Nazi Germany.

If you're saying Kerr doesn't have the right to say that, then you're saying the health care industry (or the financial industry, or the auto industry, or the pharmaceutical industry) has no right to express its political opnion by lining the pockets of favored lawmakers. And even the Supreme Court won't say that these days.

The Supremes, in another brain-dead move, just gave the green light to big business to indulge in as much political bribery as it wants. But the Suns, who are part of a business entity as enormous as any other, shouldn't be allowed to delve into politics? So it's OK to buy politicians, but not protest their actions when they behave in a rash and potentially ruinous manner?

Talk about wanting it both ways.

Ben Smith's blog.