I'M NOT HISPANIC, but if I was I think I would be a little offended by the initiative from a few professional sports teams.
In early May, the Phoenix Suns, in protest of a new Arizona state law involving immigration enforcement, donned jerseys that read "Los Suns" across the front. At the time knowing what the organization was trying to accomplish, it was refreshing to see a sports team doing something for the greater good - without a personal agenda. While the law aims to crack down on the illegal immigration problem, the potential byproduct of racial profiling raised concern.
So I was OK with that, and could even overlook the team's blatant Spanglish, considering Los Soles actually means "The Suns" in Spanish.
But since then I have seen several teams joining the bandwagon, not just in the NBA but also in MLB. The Miami Heat have sported El Heat on a few occasions, and even the Mets have been known to wear "Los Mets" jerseys.
Problem is these aren't even the team names in Spanish. El Heat? El Calor. Los Mets? Los Metropolitanos. OK, so perhaps the latter is too long to splatter across a jersey, but you get the point.
The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back for me, however, was last Friday's Phillies-Marlins tilt, for which the team donned "Los Marlins" jerseys. This one is either the ultimate in laziness or just a sheer lack of creativity.
For starters, Los Agujos means "The Marlins." But with the team affectionately known throughout baseball as "The Fish," why not rock "El Pez" or "El Pescado" uniforms, which would have sparked interest in non-Spanish-speaking fans while possibly creating a marketing cash cow in jersey sales for Spanish-speaking fans.
I applaud showing support for diversity and the melting pot of citizens, which is what makes this country great. But if you are going to do it, and I think most would agree, you gotta do it right.
- Kerith Gabriel