A Slam Dunk from Arizona’s Governor

Posted: June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

The new social media continues to get athletes – and others — in trouble. Players tweet and text as if no one is going to see their messages and certainly not react to them. Forever it seems people in sports have shared their opinions on subjects outside of the world of sports.

And as they used to say on “Seinfeld”, there’s nothing wrong with that. Certainly they have a right to express their opinions. There is a perception of the “dumb jock”, but there are some very smart people in the world of sports. More than a few have gone on to get elected to public office and many more have found success in other fields when their playing days ended.

They have to understand, however, that because of their celebrity they will attract more attention and reaction to their opinions. That can be good and bad.

More often than not I read or hear opinions from the sports world and forget them quickly. But sometimes you read something that’s simply too good not to share. Let me warn you what you’re going to read is sports related but not about sports. The subject is our immigration laws, which have been a hot button subject from sea to shining sea but certainly more heated along our southern border states.

My opinion on this subject is not an issue here although what I’m about to share with you will, no doubt, convince many of you otherwise. I can only say the message is one that will make you think. Some of you will applaud. Some of you will think this one message is taken out of context when examining the big picture.

It’s your choice and that’s the way it should be in the Land of the Free.

The sports angle here is an NBA team, the Phoenix Suns. For those of you who don’t follow the NBA and/or aren’t good on the subject of geography, Phoenix is located in Arizona, which shares its southern border with Mexico.

Arizona Governor Ann Brewer has signed immigration laws that give law enforcement officials the right to ask for proof of identify of anyone stopped for a suspected violation. That runs the gambit from murder to running a stop light. Critics contend police will profile people who look Hispanic and ask for identify without cause. That’s obviously a simplified version of a controversial law.

Among Gov. Brewer’s critics is Robert Sarver, who owns the Phoenix Suns. Sarver came out publicly and strongly opposed Arizona’s new immigration law.  In response to Sarver’s opposition, Gov. Brewer released the following statement:

“What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn’t be ejected.

“Furthermore, what if Suns’ ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?”


With my apologies to the old Batman TV show, that’s the immediate reaction I had to the governor’s response. Even the most liberal thinking among us has to admit she made some slam dunk points. (I’m trying very hard to make this sports related.)

Understand I’m not trying to compare attending a sports event with someone who’s seeking a better life for himself and his family. I understand the appeal of living in the greatest nation on earth and wanting that life for you and your family. I can only imagine how many people would do almost anything to achieve such a life.

But as I interpret Gov. Brewer’s analogy she’s simply saying it does create a hardship for those who do live here legally and pay the bills. I’m certain she knows the Suns do many chartable things and that, no doubt, includes occasionally providing free tickets and concessions for the less fortunate in the Phoenix area. The Suns, like most pro sports franchises, give much back to their community. And no nation is more charitable than the USA.

Gov. Brewer just thinks charity should be handed out, not taken.


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