Undocumented Fan Attendance Night in Phoenix
Fresh off the newswires:
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has announced that tonight is "Undocumented Fan Attendance Night" in Phoenix when his NBA franchise meets the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal.
Unticketed Fans welcome
In a statement released from the Suns' public relations office, Sarver said:
"Any fan who manages to make it into US Airways Center tonight without a ticket - whether by sneaking in via an unguarded entrance or walking past a ticket taker who is uninterested in enforcing the ticket requirement - will not be removed from the arena. If someone makes it to a courtside seat and the rightful ticket holder objects, we will not have our ushers check to ensure that the offending fan has a ticket that entitles the fan to that seat. The unticketed fan will not be escorted from the premises, but will be allowed to stay in the seat for which he or she has not purchased a ticket. Unticketed fans are fans nonetheless, and we will not treat them like law breakers. We have informed our ushers and ticket takers that no profiling of unticketed fans will be tolerated."
Undocumented Tailgate Party
Many undocumented fans have already gotten a head start on the promotion. Hundreds of unticketed people have cut through the chain link fences surrounding the VIP parking areas and have begun one big fiesta of a tailgate party just right outside the entrance of US Airways Center. "Man, this is what Cinco de Mayo is all about!" shouted an exhuberant Walter Schmidt, 55, a retired auto worker from Detroit who permanently settled in his second home in Tempe after leaving General Motors 10 years ago. "After the announcement that tonight was going to be Undocumented Fan Night, no way was that chain link fence going to keep us out!"
Some fans mightily pissed
Some Suns fans, however, were not so pleased. Seventy-five-year-old season ticket holder Ruth Weidner, a life-long Phoenix resident who has been attending Suns games for over 20 years, expressed dismay and frustration that she might arrive to the game and find the handicapped parking filled with cars without proper tags and someone without a ticket in her seat. Said the septuagenarian who just last week attended a Tea Party rally in downtown Phoenix, "I have crippling arthritis and can't get around without my motorized wheelchair. It takes me a long time to get from the parking lot to my seat inside the arena. Now that I'm likely to have to park even further away from the entrance, I fear that by the time I get to my seat it will be taken by someone who broke the law to get into the game and then stole the seat that I've spent my hard-earned savings to pay for."
Suns organization says no place for anti-undocumented fan bigotry
Gordie Braun, a spokesman for Sarver, called those fears unfounded and reacted strongly to the underlying sentiments behind the experssion of fear. "Fears like those expressed by this so-called fan are a symptom of something much uglier that lies in the hearts of those who give voice to them. People like this are only interested in scapegoating others as soon as they are asked to share their precious 'hard-earned savings' with those less fortunate. Such hatred for unticketed fans who are only trying to experience for themselves what a ticket purchaser like Mrs. Weidner apparently believes to be her birthright should not be tolerated in our society. Bigoted woman!"
First, this is, obviously, a parody.
Second, I oppose the Arizona law (and wrote a fairly strongly worded blog post in opposition to it a couple of weeks ago). It is bad public policy because some provisions, namely the ones regarding harboring and transporting undocumented aliens, are extremely vague and arguably make certain acts of charity illegal. I also believe that the bill will make policing in Latino neighborhoods more difficult, as residents could be less trusting and less forthcoming with information regarding criminal activity. I also support a fairly liberal immigration policy that would provide a pathway to citizenship for those undocumented immigrants who are already here and would make legal immigration into this country much easier and available to more people.
Third, my purpose in writing this parody is that I am disgusted with the overheated rhetoric directed toward Arizona by some of my fellow opponents of this bill, and I find utterly laughable and counter-productive the empty symbolic gestures like boycotts, calls for Major League Baseball to move next year's All-Star Game, and this silly jersey protest by "Los Suns" (and shouldn't that be "Los Soles", anyway?).