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Nikki Stern

Nikki Stern
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
April 10
whatever sounds good
Sure, come on in
Author of "Because I Say So: The Dangerous Appeal of Moral Authority" ( and "Hope in Small Doses" and busy blogger at


Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 18, 2010 7:48AM

Good Sports: Robert Sarver & the Phoenix Suns

Rate: 20 Flag

Last April, if you will recall, the Arizona Legislature passed an ariz-protestximmigration bill that allows state and local police to demand documentation of those who are suspected of being in the United States illegally and then to arrest those who fail to provide it. Described as a necessarily tough measure by its supporters, including Governor Jan Brewer, the bill was widely supported by Arizona residents. However, passage of the law set off a spate of protests by opponents nationally who feared "racial profiling" specifically targeted at Arizona's Latino community. (photo: USA Today)

SarverEnter Robert Sarver, banker, entrepreneur and majority owner of The Phoenix Suns, Arizona's basketball franchise. Sarver's team was playing in the Western conference semi-finals and Game Two happened to coincide with Cinco de Mayo this year. Following passage of the immigration bill, Sarver announced the team would wear special "Los Suns" jerseys "to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation."

(photo credit: National Basketball League)

Sarver went further, acknowledging Arizona's frustration with the failure of federal immigration laws but describing as "flawed" the legislation, adding: "However intended, the result of passing the law is AmareStoudemirethat our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question..."
The Suns--or rather Los Suns--went on to win game two against the San Antonio Spurs 111-102 

(pictured: Amare Stoudemire; credit: Seattle Times)

In a year when most of the attention was directed to a far more flamboyant owner--Yankees chief George Steinbrenner--whose death recalled a lifetime of temper tantrums, let's give a big cheer to a level-headed and gutsy owner with who used his high profile to support not only his team, but a much wider cause.

 see also: ESPN May 4, 2010; Reuters, April 19, 2010;  Seattle Times, May 6, 2010

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For the reasons cited to pass the law, it really does boil down to racial profiling. It's nice to see support for the people wronged and labeled.
Best Wishes,
Thanks. I wasn't aware of this. Generally I see professional athletes & their teams as self absorbed over-paid jerks. Glad to see I was wrong.
It is nice to see someone who used their own pulpit for a worthy cause (although I don't like the dig against George, who performed thousands of humanitarian good deeds). Kudos again to Mr. Sarver for his efforts, and kudos to you for an excellent post. R.
He did a great thing, in spite of the Governor and her gutter crew. I hope they wear black arm bands all year!
I do not like this new Governor at all. Glad to see someone spoke up.
Rated with hugs.
Andy, you're right: Steinbrenner did give generously. But he was publicly abusive to his staff and players (I actually knew someone who worked back office for George) and furthered the culture of nastiness we'd all like to overcome.
Have to admire someone who leads by example.
totally to be commended (and well-written) r.
What a classy move. I don't follow pro B-ball, so was completely unaware. Thanks for letting us know about this.
I had forgotten about that.
¡Hurra, Sarver! ¡Hurra, Nikki!
Yes, Mr. Sarver did a good thing. And he stood up back when it was not purportedly popular to do so. Kudos.

[you know, you can delete the MLin posts in the Manage your Posts area....]
Good choice, I had forgotten. I follow the Suns and am glad there is a good guy who has money. Rare breed.
Thanks all.

@ConnieMack: every time I delete two spams, four appear. This is why I rarely post on sports; not because I don't like the subject but because the spammers do.
saw this one on Big Salon this am, congrats on the placing and a job well done
I follow the Suns and am glad there is a good guy who has money.He did a great thing, in spite of the Governor and her gutter crew.

Paul C Leather Paul C Leather
Nikki, thanks for posting this story! I wasn't aware of it and it is perfect for "The Year in Sanity" open call. Kudos to Robert Sarver for his noble actions.

I am wondering if an open call on "The Year in Insanity" will be offered up next and if it is there should be plenty of material for that one, too!
designanator: Year in insanity? How could Salon ever sort through all the submissions? Hell, I'm thinking I might go back to my beloved Pew Research polls and look at their collection of surveys from this year, which tell a true story of insanity: how many people believe this or disbelieve that, contrary to any and all facts in evidence. Or maybe I'll just repost "Is Stupid the New Black" and leave it at that.
I remember Sarver and the Suns did, and I approve wholeheartedly.
There aren't many big-bankers that would do anything other than worry about their images, profits and buying politicians who can't/won't speak up for what's right.

This is certainly uncommon morality amidst an ocean of immorality. There are still some good people around.
I have so many Latino amigos you wouldn't believe it. In fact, the picture on my site is me at a nearby (true) Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo. By the way, everyone who works there is a legal immigrant. But they, like myself, have one concern: How do you keep the bad guys out? Many of my friends have been victims of profiling but to a person, they all say, they would happily prove their citizenship. They worked hard to obtain it. None of them hide behind the victim dialogue. They make me proud to be their friend. I am proud to call them fellow Americans.
Again I pose the question: when will we stop letting PC rule?