The Phoenix Suns had great success last year with their ‘The Valley’ jersey design. Now, they have introduced a new concept to honor their Mexican and Mexican American fans and are looking forward to receiving feedback from fans.
Phoenix said he is working on a uniform concept based on ancient Aztec symbolism. The team posted the t-shirt designs on its website Thursday. The uniform features the Aztec Sun Stone on the front of the shirts, the Aztec Death Stone on the back and a jaguar armor on the pants.
Reactions have been mixed, prompting the Suns to post a series of statements on Twitter.
𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝘇𝘁𝗲𝗰 𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁:
A tribute to early ancestors of The Valley, our Mexican and Mexican-American fans, and the warrior spirit we bring to battle everyday.
Drop your thoughts below 📥
– Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 25, 2021
To begin with, one complaint centered on whether the Aztecs were ever in Arizona. To that, the Suns said: “Some sources trace the origins of Aztlán, the ancestral home of the Aztec people, to present-day Arizona before migrating south. While the investigation is ongoing, we wanted to create an open dialogue with our fans around to the concept of this uniform “.
Phoenix added that he worked with representatives of the Mexican government on the design of the uniforms. The Suns also worked with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center.
Another of the complaints pointed to the Suns focusing on the indigenous communities of Arizona. The Suns responded by announcing that they will release a uniform to honor Arizona’s tribal nations for the 2022-23 season.
The Aztec design is not currently set to go into rotation for the Suns. The team is still gathering feedback on whether to move forward.
The team’s The Valley jerseys will return for the 2021-22 season.