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'SOMOS PHX' a source of pride

By Jose Romero - Jan 27, 2018

The Phoenix Suns celebrated "Latin Night" on Friday in a game against the New York Knicks, breaking out their shiny purple "Los Suns" Nike City Edition uniform for the occasion. 

The outcome of the game -- a lopsided loss, the ejection of star Devin Booker and the postgame Twitter battle between Enes Kanter of the Knicks and Jared Dudley -- didn't matter so much to me. 

Themed games in honor of Latinos aren't a new thing in the NBA, and the Suns have held them every season I have been in town. It's easy to pay homage to the community with the mariachis on the plaza at the arena entrance, or the music during breaks, or specialized merchandise, and the Suns in fact do that. 

But as a basketball fan, there's more to it. Aside from having a player that young Latinos, including my own son, can identify with on some level -- did you know Booker has Mexican heritage on his mother's side? -- the Suns have long seemed to understand the importance of this fan base. 

I'll never waver from faithfully supporting Rip City, the Portland Trail Blazers. They are my hometown team and the only pro franchise in the city for decades, the team I grew up following closely. But the year I arrived in the Valley of the Sun, 2010, I gained newfound respect for the Suns. 

Owner Robert Sarver and team leader Steve Nash, along with other players, were outspoken in their criticism of SB 1070, a controversial law that essentially allowed for racial profiling of anyone even suspected of not being a legal resident of the U.S. That resonated with me, that a sports team in a city with a large Latino population would come out and take a stand against a racist policy. 

NBA players are taking stands often now, for very important issues. It's a beautiful thing to see. But in 2010, with me wondering why the heck I'd come to this state and living in a community, South Phoenix, that was sure to be impacted by this law, the Suns took a chance and spoke up in support of the very people this law targeted.

I'll always remember that. It was more than mariachis and "Los Suns" uniforms (no matter how sharp they look) on a night or two a year. It was action. The Suns have proven themselves to be allies of Arizona's Latinos. 

Nike got it right, too. The City Edition uniforms this season honor the Latino community, per their official description, and contain the Spanish-language phrase "Somos PHX."

It's just right. And good business. I am a Latino ticket-buying customer. My son can't wait for the next game we go to at Talking Stick Resort Arena, and he plays in a youth league sponsored by the Suns. 

I can feel confident that my son is supporting a team that invites a large Latino fan base. That makes it easier to accept that he will likely grow up a Suns fan, just like his mom. 

As for me, I'll keep enjoying the latest versions of "Los Suns" nights and promotions.


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