This crAZy immigration deal, and how sports fits in

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A few things to read that came across our radar in the last couple of week:

== Gregg Doyel, the CBSSports.com national columnist, wrote about Arizona doesn’t deserve all the negativity directed toward it in light of this senate bill 1070 — there’s a lot of messed-up things happening there already that isn’t getting publicized (linked here).

“Move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona? That seems rather drastic considering our entire country is split right down the middle over that immigration law, according to polls, and that residents of Arizona are similarly split. One in three white people in Arizona oppose this law. One in five Hispanics favor it. Read those two sentences again, and then tell me this issue is simple. ”

After he wrote it, he got more responses (200-plus) than any other piece he’s written this month.

== Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times had a follow up to Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s response to a question about the law (linked here).

“If the Lakers, who have given this community so much joy and excellence, close their eyes to Arizona’s affront to so many of its members, then at least one disappointed fan will be withholding his support, and inviting as many others as will listen to do the same.”

== Jeff Schultz, an L.A. native now writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, blogged about it (linked here) and seized on Jackson’s follow up quote:

“This issue came up again Monday. Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson released a statement that read, “I have respect for those who oppose the new Arizona immigration law, but I am wary of putting entire sports organizations in the middle of political controversies.”

“This followed his previous comments: “I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff. … Where we stand as basketball teams, we should let that kind of play out and let the political end of that go where it’s going to go.”

“He’s got it right. So does the baseball commissioner. Bud Selig: visionary.”

== By the way, here’s the law (linked here)

We’re trying to get our head around this as well, from a sports perspective, with the Lakers still involved with the Suns, and the Dodgers about to take on the D’backs early next week. We’re writing more about it Sunday.

The intersection of L.A. and Arizona, and sports and politics, isn’t going away.

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