Gonzalez Supports Controversial Decision by Suns

Padre Adrian Gonzalez is one of several sports stars weighing in on the immigration debate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Padre Adrian Gonzalez, who grew up on both sides of the border, is one of several players and coaches weighing in over the controversial new law in Arizona as the debate moves from the political arena into the sporting arena.

    The new immigration law has drawn widespread criticism from Latino organizations and civil rights groups that say it could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics. President Barack Obama has called the law "misguided."

    Gonzalez supported a controversial decision by the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday to make a statement, against the immigration law, on the basketball court. Suns fans wore "Los Suns" jerseys and T-shirts and a group of four even entered the arena with sombreros for their team's playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs.

    "It's just good to see a professional team supported. I've said what I got say and it's good to see a team in Arizona standup for that," Gonzalez said.

    The Phoenix Suns’ owner has been critical of the recent law passed in Arizona and Wednesday night players like Steve Nash echoed those criticisms.

    "You know our civil liberties, our equality, and the precedent it's setting, and the message it sends to our youngsters in the community," Nash said.

    Not present at the game was the author of the bill, state senator Russell Pearce.

    "I'm not going,” he said. “I'm not putting up with that. When they side on the side of the lawbreakers over law keepers, absolutely. I'll spend my money someplace else, in Arizona. I don't boycott Arizona."

    Gonzalez told Fanhouse that he would not attend next year's All-Star Game in Phoenix if the law was in effect.

    "I'll support the Players Association 100 percent," Gonzalez told the website. "If they leave it up to the players and the law is still there, I'll probably not play in the All-Star Game. Because it's a discriminating law... I know it can't be done, but they should take spring training out of (Arizona) if it's possible."

    Padres closer Heath Bell is also weighing in.

    “Baseball is part of the culture of Arizona,” he told the Union-Tribune. "For Arizona to do something like this? Mind-boggling.”

    There is talk of taking next year's All Star game away from Arizona. A Padres spokesperson said Wednesday that the organization would take no formal stance yet, but rather watch carefully what the league does.