The Phoenix Suns have had great success over the last year with their “The Valley” jersey design. Now, they’ve introduced a new concept to honor their Mexican and Mexican-American fans and are looking to fans for feedback.
Phoenix said it is working on a uniform concept based on ancient Aztec symbolism. The team released designs of the jerseys on Thursday on its web site. The uniform features the “Aztec Sun Stone” on the front of the jerseys, the “Aztec Death Stone” on the back and jaguar armor on the pants leg.
There were some mixed reactions, which caused the Suns to release 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
One complaint centered on whether the Aztecs were ever in Arizona to begin with. To that, the Suns said: “Some sources trace the origins of Aztlan, the ancestral home of the Aztec people, to modern day Arizona before migrating south. While research is ongoing, we wanted to create an open dialogue with our fans surrounding this uniform concept.”
Phoenix added that it worked with representatives from the Mexican government on the uniform design. They also worked with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as well as the Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center.
Another complaint wanted the Suns to focus on communities that were indigenous to Arizona. The Suns responded by announcing they were releasing a uniform to honor the Tribal Nations of Arizona 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 or not to push forward.
The team’s “The Valley” jerseys will return for the 2021-22 campaign.